By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX 75149
On the web at http://www.whiningkentpigs.com – or go directly to the Diplomacy section at http://www.whiningkentpigs.com/DW/. Also be sure to visit the official Diplomacy World website which can be found at http://www.diplomacyworld.net. Also remember to check out http://www.helpfulkitty.com for official Toby the Helpful Kitty news, advice column, blog, and links to all his available merchandise! Links to 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 http://www.guysexplained.com where women can learn all the secrets of how a man’s mind works, and why they act the way they do.
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Quote Of The Month – “That is the oldest trick in the stalker book.” (Clementine in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy subzine that puts its parent zine to shame. I don’t just mean that ES comes out way more often than The Abyssinian Prince…and I don’t just mean that these games run on time, and that the content is sooo much more entertaining (not surprising…Jim-Bob = Snoozefest). No, I mean that in a wrestling match ES would throw TAP down and put a book on its neck until it heard a loud snap. These are the reasons why I am encouraging Jim-Bob to give up, and make TAP an Eternal Sunshine subzine instead. This would also help force him to stay on schedule.
August seemed to be a very long month, but it had some memorable moments (both good and bad). The good would include Kayza (pronounced like Asia with a K in front). Since we moved to this house, Heather and I have been slowly looking around for a senior Labrador Retriever we could adopt. Ideally we want two or three, but one step at a time, especially as we have to acclimate the cats to a dog, and vice versa. We’d looked around on Petfinder, and at the local shelter we do some volunteer work for (www.elpo.org). But we didn’t want to move forward with an adoption until after Labor Day if we could help it, simply because if necessary we wanted to have the option of keeping the dog in the sun room until the cats and dogs get used to each other. It would just be too darn hot in there before then. Still, both Heather and I emailed some rescue groups, asking about particular dogs, and especially if they had any specific cat exposure.
Then out of the blue, I got an email from the Central Texas Lab Rescue Group. They forwarded me a request from a woman named Erin, the wife in a military family who lived near Fort Hood. Her husband Tim was returning from Iraq in August, and they’d received their new orders: Hawaii. Unfortunately, a move like that is a complete change in lifestyle, and also requires a long quarantine period for any pets you bring along. They’d had this beautiful black lab names Kayza since she was eight weeks old, but at nine years old they didn’t think it was really fair to put her through that kind of trauma. If they could find a loving home for Kayza, they wanted to take advantage of that option. Unfortunately, most rescues were either full (like this particular Lab one) or else they didn’t think a senior lab would be very adoptable. But the group remembered my prior email about one dog, and kept us in mind.
We traded emails with Erin, and she sent us a few photos. After a few weeks, it was clear this could be a real match, a “meant to be” fit. Erin preferred to wait until her husband was back for a few weeks before giving Kayza up, so we wouldn’t be taking her until September sometime (unless they wanted to wait even longer, as they weren’t moving until November). And Kayza was exactly what we wanted: a sweet senior dog, one that is hard to find a home for but who is deserving of being spoiled for the rest of her years. Plus, as she was a black dog, that made placement even more difficult. It wasn’t until we started volunteering that we learned the stigma against black cats seems to expand to black dogs in many areas of the south. People just don’t like them, don’t want them, don’t trust them, or view them with a suspicious or superstitious air.
One Saturday this month we drove down to meet Kayza in person. Well, also to meet Erin and her family. Because while we wanted to make sure Kayza was a good match, we also wanted Erin to feel comfortable with us as potential adopters. Giving up an loving member of the family like Kayza can be very difficult, and Erin said she’d been sick about it since it was first discussed. To know that she was going to a good home – and one that she could count on getting photos and updates from whenever she pleased – would be a major relief.
We all know Heather and I are a bit odd, but the meeting went wonderfully. Erin was quite a woman, a proud military wife with two beautiful daughters. She had so much on her plate, but she couldn’t have been sweeter to us. We hit it off rather well Ithink; she’s a very genuine and honest person, and so are we. She tried to think of any potential bad habits Kayza had…anything she could warn us about which might put us off. But she need nto have worried: the moment Heather walked in the door, she was in love.
Kayza is a big girl; she needs to lose 10 or 15 pounds, but other than that is in terrific health for a nine year old dog. She never barks, except when the doorbell rings. All she really wants to do is play fetch (and play fetch and play fetch and play fetch), get petted, and relax. She views everyone she sees as a potential best friend; there wasn’t a moment of “who are these new people” when we walked in. Instead it was “oh good, new friends!” We’re hoping that attitude carries over to the cats. Erin said she hasn’t speant any time with cats, but her personality is so friendly and innocent, I think at the WORST they’ll just learn to live together. The possibility of Toby and Sanka having a new playmate (especially Toby…he always wants to play more than Sanka does) is not out of the question at all. We just have to be patient, and introduce them slowly. We even rubbed some shirts all over Kayza so the cats could get used to her smell.
So, if plans hold, by the time you see Eternal Sunshine #45, Kayza will be here as the newest member of the household. Finally we’ll have some use for the huge yard! Wish us luck!
On the less enjoyable front, August all saw me dealing with some dental problems. I was experiencing quite a bit of pain with two teeth: my lower right wisdom tooth, which is moving outward slowly to fill a space left by one of the teeth I lost while in prison, and one of front upper teeth on the right side. (Sorry, I don’t know enough about teeth to remember what you call this particular tooth – I think it is the third tooth from the center). My dentist found that my wisdom tooth had an odd center, which left an open hold down almost to the root, and put a filling in there. As for the upper tooth, I had lost an old filling earlier in the week, which he replaced. But he did warn me that there was a chance it would need a root canal if the filling didn’t do the job.
My teeth had always been sensitive to cold, so it didn’t surprise me that I continued to experience some discomfort over the coming days. But soon the pain was growing stronger, and a week later I was back in the dentist chair, where it was confirmed both that I needed a root canal, and that I had developed an abcess. So instead of any immediate relief, I had to suffer another week while the antibiotics did their thing. I also had a lot of pain in my right trans-mandibular joint, most likely from holding my mouth in awkward positions both when awake and asleep.
Finally the big day arrived, and I was ready for my root canal. With all the pain I had been feeling during the week prior, and the way the ibuprofen and antibiotics had been tearing up my stomach, I wasn’t apprehensive at all. I knew he’d have an easy path to the root, simply by removing the fillings. And once the root was gone, now that the abcess was getting better, there wouldn’t be anything there to cause much pain anyway!
I’d never had a root canal, so I wasn’t entirely familiar with the process. But I understand the need to know the exact depth of the root itself, so it can be completely cleaned without penetrating the end of the tooth. After attempting to measure it with some of his files, the doctor and his assistant had to take three more x-rays to get a clear shot for measurement purposes. Apparently my palate was getting in the way.
So this is where it gets more interesting. The picture to the left is representative of the type of tine files a dentist uses to clean out the root. They have a full set or varying lengths, from 10 millimeters all the way up to 31 millimeters (referring to the length of the file area itself, not the handle). Most also have a ring “marker” which allows the dentist to mark how deep he needs to go before he reaches the end of the root. This allows the dentist to use a slightly longer file than necessary, but still not penetrate the end of the root.
The problem revealed itself when my clear x-ray finally was available to examine. As it turned out, this tooth had the longest root my dentist had ever seen in a patient: 33 millimeters. He didn’t have a file deep enough to clean it out thoroughly and he couldn’t even be certain that one was sold by his normal suppliers.
Fortunately, he was able to use the files in his kit to clean out almost all of the root, and then by chipping away a part of the file handle, and holding the nub that was left with forceps, the 31 millimeter file could be forced to the 33 millimeter depth. I suggested (half jokingly) he write it up in a dental journal. As I left, he promised to check his suppliers to see if he could buy a few longer files for future use.
So, aside from all the other ways I am a freak, I am not a dental freakazoid too!
Breifly, in zine news, Andy York sends his regrets. I guess things like LIFE and WORK and SLEEP and more important to him! Seriously, he’ll be back next issue if at all possible. But we do have Richard Walkerdine, Paul Milewski, and Jack McHugh! There’s also a new essay by me, a new interview section entitled “You Don’t Know Me,” and the usual crap. Check the Game Opening section, as minor changes are made there and certain games gain a name or two.
Now I’m off to take a shower and take Heather out to a local playhouse. So enjoy (or loathe) this issue, and I’ll see you in October! Oooh, that reminds me: my birthday is October 29th, and our Anniversary is October 31st, so multiple expensive presents are expected from all of you!
The Month’s Playlist: I am Not Your Puzzle to Solve – Theresa Miele; Wellspring – Caroline Herring; Little Peppermints – Antje Duvekot (I may need to drive up to Oklahoma to see her live in October); New Miserable Experience – Gin Blossoms; Which Dreamed It? – Three Merry Widows; Tumbleweed Connection – Elton John.
An Open Letter to Barry and Carol
During the never-ending process of cleaning out my storage unit, I have come across quite a few photographs that I never knew existed, or that I had forgotten about. Some were of my mother and her parents; I’d never seen her as an infant or her father as anything but an old man. I don’t even remember her mother, who died when I was two or three years old. So those were interesting to look at, as were some very old photos of the ancestors of my maternal grandfather, which is a side of the family I had not been able to learn anything about back when I found myself interested in my family history.
As you might expect, I also found photos from my own childhood, some of which I’d seen before. My siblings, my parents…places I don’t recognize, friends I barely remember. And there were photos I took myself, mostly from when I was a teenager, almost exclusively of Mara…Mara, my first girlfriend, who would become my first wife.
And, I found two photos of your little girl.
To be honest, I can’t be 100% certain anymore if she was a girl. You know how babies are…the defining characteristics are often difficult to see until they’re a bit older. But I think she was. I can’t remember her name though.
The photos are rather generic; one is of her laying on the bed, and in the other she is playing with the coiled cord of a pair of stereo headphones. I’m not a big fan of babies, but she’s cute in the photos, and that’s how I remember her. She was cute; a bit of a crier, but still cute.
I have a better memory of the two of you than your child. Carol: your hair an orange/red, always tense and rigid. Even your smile was nervous in its own way. I remember you telling me what a difficult pregnancy it had been; you’d nearly lost her, and I can’t be certain if there had been a miscarriage earlier or not. But you had struggled and fought to make it work, and it had. Your baby was healthy and safe.
And Barry. Thick coke-bottle glasses, short but unkempt hair, goatee trimmed to a medium length. I believe you were a professor of sorts, at one of the New York schools. We bumped into each other on Broadway one afternoon, as I was walking back to the World Trade Center to catch the tube to Hoboken. You made a semi-snide comment about my briefcase, as if I was playing at being an adult. I shrugged it off and smiled, but inside I remember that it bothered me. I may have only been 16 years old, but I was working full time in the city that summer, at a job which I’d continue at when I graduated.
To you I was a gawky teenager with acne and a girlfriend too good looking for me. To your wife I was a horny male who might break your household rule of no sex in the house one day when you weren’t home. You were both right, in your own way. But I was much more too.
I was the one who saved your child’s life.
Your house was a nice size, maybe a bit large. Semi-sterile, but as your daughter grew it would be a nice place for her to grow up. It was nestled on one of the quiet side streets in Westfield, with a few beautiful trees to drop colorful leaves in the fall. It was the sort of house I hoped to live in someday if I stayed in the area. Beautiful hardwood floors, and a long staircase leading to the second story. That’s where your bedroom was, and Mara’s room. No, wait…her room might have been on a third floor, with only a storage room on the other side of the hallway. It’s hard to remember, but that might be right.
I’m not sure why you hired Mara as your live-in au pair, except she seemed to have an amazing knack when it came to interviews. In the coming years she would be hired for nearly any job she interviewed for, including some she was woefully unqualified for. I suppose she simply knew how to fake her way through it, hiding the truth and showing the world what it wanted to see. She’d learned that skill well during her years as an abuse victim. I remember one time she was hired as a bookkeeper for a small firm. Her first morning at work they showed her around the office, gave her master keys to just about everything in the place, and left her alone in her room to start working. She had absolutely no idea how to do any of the work she’d been hired to do. So she made herself look busy until lunch, then left and never went back. She wouldn’t even answer or return their phone calls, where they begged her to return the keys so they wouldn’t have to change all the locks.
That was a few years after she worked for you. Mara had dropped out of college and worked a few jobs, as a bank teller and a clerk at a pharmacy. But she wanted to get out of her house and away from her parents. Her mental state was worsening, and she felt that working for you, which included a place to live, was just what she needed. I had strong doubts, but as usual she wouldn’t listen to me. All I could do was be supportive.
She started the job in August, while I was still working full-time. But when I helped her move some possessions into her room that Sunday before she started, I remember you giving Mara “the lecture.” Carol was going back to work, and was terribly anxious about it. Not the work, but leaving her baby in the care of someone else. And Mara had to be serious about this job. She was young by their standards, so they were nervous about the possibility of being forced to find a replacement if Mara suddenly changed her mind and decided she didn’t want to work there any longer. They needed Mara to commit to at least a year…if after nine months or so she’d tired of the job, that would give them time during the following summer to find somebody new. But the difficult pregnancy had kept Carol out of work much longer than expected before the actual birth, so she couldn’t afford to miss any more time. This arrangement had to work out.
At first, everything seemed fine. Mara had Sundays off, so I’d see her then, and then when school started I would spend every lunch break or free period in the phone booth on the second floor, talking to her and listening to her. The baby wasn’t much of a problem; Carol was. She was so nervous about everything that Mara was not allowed to leave the house at all, not even to take the child in a walk in a stroller. So after a few weeks Mara was starting to feel quite claustrophobic. Carol was also very precise about how she wanted things done; there were quite a few testy conversations with Mara about things she’d supposedly done wrong. Still, she was away from her parents, which is what she wanted.
After six weeks or so, you loosened up a bit and Mara was allowed to take the baby out of the house for short trips. This helped take some of the tension out of the air, but not a substantial amount. Then Mara got sick. I am sure you remember; she was sitting in the living room watching Fraggle Rock with your baby (that show seemed to hypnotize her) when she got a sudden pain in her abdomen. Mara stood up, took two steps, fell to the floor, and immediately vomited and defecated all over your imported rug.
You could have been a bit more understanding about it. What person would do that on purpose? Mara’s father promised to pay to have the rug cleaned, and replaced if necessary. Being a doctor, he was able to prescribe her some medication and in a day or two Mara was fine. But you mentioned that rug at every opportunity. I hope you weren’t so critical of your daughter as she grew.
And I still remember the big day: the day Mara and I stood in front of you and she gave you one week’s notice. She told you that we’d discussed it and this job simply wasn’t for her, and that she couldn’t even give you a full two weeks. How angry the two of you were; this was a major inconvenience in your life. Now you’d have to find someone else, quickly, or Carol might miss time at work again. You had such a look of disdain and disrespect in your eyes. Here were two young adults, only one of whom was out of school, and they clearly had no appreciation for what they were putting you through. Did Mara even understand the meaning of the word commitment? Obviously not. She had agreed to keep this job for at least nine months, and it hadn’t even been a month!
I don’t know what you did after that. I imagine you griped and bitched and moaned about the situation to every friend and colleague you had. “Kids today…no morals, no ethics, no idea what it means to make a promise and stick to it. Try to give a young adult a break, and they spit in your face.” That sort of thing.
I don’t blame you for feeling that way. I might have been the same. Or, maybe instead of getting completely pissed off and throwing a fit, I might have wondered – or asked – if there was more to the story. Why wasn’t this the job for Mara? Why couldn’t she give more than one week’s notice? What was so important that she get out of taking care of your daughter so quickly?
You didn’t ask any of those questions…unless you asked them amongst yourselves. But the attitude both of you carried before and during the time I knew you, the superior and smug looks on your faces all the time, suggest to me you never did consider any other explanation.
So, this letter is to give you the reason. The true reason.
One day between classes I called Mara from the usual payphone. When she answered, I could tell she had been crying, and I could hear your daughter crying as well, in the background. I asked Mara what was wrong. Was she sick again?
“I can’t take it any more Doug. She won’t stop crying. I’ve tried everything. It is making me crazy, like I want to kill myself.”
I tried to calm Mara down, and to take some deep breaths. Go to another room, get away from the baby. I didn’t want her doing something stupid and hurting herself. But Mara just laughed, a crazed laugh.
“I know what to do. I am going to put a pillow over her head. And hold it there. Then she won’t cry anymore. Ever.” And she laughed again.
You’ll never know the effort, the begging, the pleading it took for me to get Mara to promise not to kill the baby until I got there. But somehow she agreed. She would leave the front door unlocked and go upstairs to her room, and wait for me.
Today, if this happened, I would have called the police. But I was 16 years old, and I felt I had to protect Mara as well as your baby. Even this early in our relationship, I felt responsible for her well being and her life. So I simply walked out of school and ran to the train station. I had no money for a cab, and no car. I had to take the train to Hoboken, jump onto the PATH to swing back to Newark Penn Station, and take the other NJ Transit line from there; a direct link between where I was and your house did not exist. I was sweating with anxiety the whole way. Then from the Westfield train station I ran the 3 or 4 miles to your house.
I wouldn’t say I had gotten there in the nick of time. From the looks of things, Mara could have waited another hour or so. But she explained she needed to make sure the baby was dead long before you got home, so she could call an ambulance and say she’d found her not breathing. And she wanted time to leave her dead before she started mouth to mouth herself, to make sure that didn’t work. Mara figured that way there would be evidence that she tried to save her, rather than evidence that she’d killed her.
We talked and argued for an hour or so. Mara didn’t want to disappoint you. In her crazed mind, at that moment, she felt killing your child would be the easy way out; quitting would require confrontation. The child was young enough that crib death would be accepted, she told me. Nobody would think she’d done anything wrong. In fact, Mara was angry at herself for telling me anything at all….she could have just done it and that would have been that.
Fortunately, I worked on Mara until she agreed to tell you, as soon as you came home, that she had to quit. That it wasn’t working out. That she didn’t like the job and needed to leave. She couldn’t promise me she’d be able to make it safely while you found a replacement, or even two weeks. So we compromised on one week.
I know you’ll likely never see this letter. But if you do, I hope it reminds you how lucky you are to have what you have. You never know what can happen, or what disaster you sidestepped by inches. One day missing a green light and having to wait through a red one might cause you not to be killed by the speeding truck a mile down the road with brake trouble. Or you could be like the woman who went downstairs to the street vendor to get a bagel on September 11th, so she wasn’t at her desk when a plane flew through the wall nine stories below.
Or maybe – just maybe – you’ll reevaluate your opinion of someone…like that stupid teenager who, to you, was playing at being an adult, and who had no concept of responsibility or commitment. Maybe you won’t see him as that; you might even see him as the person who saved your daughter’s life.
Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: #1 – A friend asks you to write a reference. You feel he’s poorly qualified for the job. Do you refuse? #2 – Your name sounds foreign and is difficult to pronounce. Your clients and superiors are always stumbling over it. You worry it may be affecting your career. Do you change it?
Melinda Holley - #1 - I'd spend a lot of time trying to convince/talk my friend out of applying for the job. If that failed, I'd write a reference that would emphasize my friend's good points but avoid specifically avoid saying I felt he/she could do the job.
#2 - One of my sisters changed her name recently. She's always hated her first name and went by her middle name. All her professional credentials are with her first name. Her employer instituted a new email program which defaulted to everyone's first name. Rather than have that hated name associated with her, she went to court and changed her name. She dropped her first name, moved her second name to be her first name, and chose a new middle name. As for me, if my name is hard for others to pronounce, it's up to me to educate others on how to pronounce it. If it's the first name that's a problem, I'd adopt a nickname. If it's the last name, I'd encourage others to use my first name and adopt the nickname. Unless I decide to go into hiding, I can't think of a reason why I'd change my name to make it easier for others to pronounce it. I've had more than one teacher in my life consistently mispronounce Melinda not to mention misspelling it.
Jack McHugh - #1 - 1. No, I’d probably just weasel my way out of it by saying I don't feel qualified to do so, but I think you really should tell the person the truth and help them work on bringing up their performance so you could write it. That would really be helping them but most people are too lazy to do that.
#2 - Sure why not--people do it all the time. you could also just give yourself an easy to pronounce nick name and just say "my given name is Xyancaco but everyone calls me X cause it’s easier to pronounce." might actually work for you by making you more unforgettable and you don't have to worry about anyone squatting on your name (xyancaco.com) on the internet either. the people I find hard to research are the Joe smiths who live in a state like NJ which has no large cities about 600 different towns/municipalities/whatever--good luck finding that particular person.
Robin ap Cynan - #1 - No, I would not refuse. Bur first I'd try to talk the friend out of the job application. If I couldn't, then I would write the reference and I would accentuate the positive as much as I could in what I wrote.
#2 - My name is ap Cynan. It always has been. it always will be. It won't surprise you that my answer to this one is absolutely not. But if my name was "Smellie", I might!
Per Westling - #1 - I would probably stall it. If (s)he persisted I would write a rather neutral reference.
#2 - Having an unusual name might be an advantage as people are likely to remember you compared to the competition. If I still not would regard this as likely I, and I don’t plan to move for many years, I would modify my name.
Murphy - #1 - I'd try and get out of doing it by suggesting someone else. I
wouldn't refuse the request, but I would be honest in my evaluations if the
friend pressed me to do it. Coward's way out, I suppose.
#2 - Sure, why not. Film stars and authors use assumed names, why not do that?
Andy York - #1 - Probably. I would first talk to him and try to understand why he wants the job even if he isn't qualified. The more casual the friend, the better chance that he has skills or background that I'm unaware of; or, he may have discussed the lack of experience with the employer and they, together, have a plan to mitigate any lack of skills.
#2 - Formally, no. Informally, yes. "Just call me Fred."
Don Williams - #1 - Yes, I do. He ought to know how I feel about this stuff if he’s a friend, and he ought to know better. I’d praise what I can and be silent on the rest. I’ve done this.
#2 - Yes, based on the info here I’d change my name. If there was more info, I might change this answer.
Heather Taylor - #1 – I wouldn’t flat out refuse, but I would make up some kind of excuses to where I could hopefully get out of it.
#2 – I
wouldn’t official change it, but I would try to come up with a nickname they
could use in place of it to make things easier.
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. The word Scruples is also being used as a secret this issue). Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish.: #1 – Your neighbor offers to let you splice into his Cable TV free of charge. Do you take him up on his offer? #2 – Your family dog is unfriendly and doesn’t respond to training. You are going to surrender him to the pound. Do you tell your 5-year-old daughter the truth, or make up a “feel good” story?
We did not make it to the movies at all this month. Part of that was time; we had a much more social month than usual, plus we had to take a day to meet Kayza. And then there was my dental problem, and all the pain involved there. And work. And projects around the house. And life. Most of all, there were only a few movies we even WANTED to see. August has not been a great cinema month. I barely watched any DVDs either; most of our Netflix DVDs were “Heather picks” that she selected to watch without me.
In short: this section is pretty well useless this month!
Seen on DVD – The Invention of Lying (B, some very funny moments, and a good concept all around). Sleepy Hollow (C, the Tim Burton world was mystical and strange back when I saw this 10 years ago. Now…just boring).
The Eternal Sunshine Football Prediction Contest
A quick reminder of the rules, before I reveal the entries I received. The contest is simple: you get one point for each correct division winner, and one point for correctly selecting the wild card teams (two per conference). Then you get two points for each team you correctly choose as conference championship (meaning they play in the Super Bowl), and three points for correctly picking the Super Bowl winner. We’re not picking winners for individual playoff games…just the division winners, wild card teams, and who goes to the Big Game. Like all Eternal Sunshine contests, there will actually be a REAL PRIZE for the winner! I had hoped to get a larger response – as always – but this is about on par with last year.
Rick Desper, Brad Wilson and Jack McHugh were the only contributors to include their full picks, and Rick also included some commentary. Thanks guys!
This is thinking that Revis holds out for quite a while. If he comes back tomorrow, I'd have to rethink it.
I like the Ravens a lot.
Gotta stick with the Colts unless Pey-Pey gets hurt. I also like the Titans. Still don't believe in the Texans.
Raiders and Chiefs are still bad teams.
Wild card teams will be Titans and Broncos.
Like the Packers a lot. Lions stay in last place until they don't.
The division that has never seen a repeat champion will see one for the first time. The Saints are still very good.
Cardinals will miss Kurt Warner. Leinart is terrible. Seahawks might be getting worse. Rams should be a team to keep an eye on. They have to get better, yes?
I'll take Eagles and Vikings as wildcards.
The class of the AFC are the Colts and Ravens. Ravens have had real problems beating the Colts in recent years. Can they finally do it? I'll say yes.
The NFC has been more unstable in recent years. I'm not buying the idea that Favre can make another Super Bowl. He's really a terrible playoff QB at this point. I like the Packers and Saints and Cowboys. I'll go with the Pack as the most complete team, as Aaron Rogers reaches the top tier of QBs (along with Brady, Manning, and Brees).
Super Bowl: Packers over Ravens.
2) New York
1) Green Bay
1) New Orleans
4) Tampa Bay
1) San Fran
4) St. Louis
1) NY Jets
3) New England
1) San Diego
NFC Wild Cars: Carolina and New York
AFC Wild Cards: Miami and Houston
NFC Champion: New Orleans
AFC Champion: Chargers
2) New York
1) Green Bay
1) New Orleans
4) Tampa Bay
2) San Francisco
4) St. Louis
1) New England
3) NY Jets
1) San Diego
NFC Wild Cards: Minnesota and New York
AFC Wild Cards: Denver and Miami
NFC Champion: Dallas
AFC: Champion: Indianapolis
Super Bowl Champion: Dallas
The Eternal Sunshine Interview
Last issue I was lucky enough to be able to include a short interview with author Lisa Gitlin, discussing her first novel I Came Out for This? In the meantime, I’d been tossing around the idea of interviewing semi-random people who I am acquainted with, just to see if an interview with a “normal” person (especially one with no Diplomacy involvement) would be interesting to any of the Eternal Sunshine readers. My friend Caroline Smith (who I went to High School with, back when she was just Caroline Carter) agreed to be the first guinea pig. Unfortunately, we had to cut the interview short, as Caroline and her family suddenly had to move to New Hampshire for a new job, rushing to get up there in time for the new school year. That kept us from discussing the biggest event in her adult life…but if the feedback is decent, I bet Drop me a email and let me know if you find this entertaining, interesting, boring, stupid…whatever your feelings are. That will help me decide whether to continue this experiment. Oh, and while I do have one or two other victims in line or in mind, if you know someone who you think would make a reasonable subject, feel free to forward their contact information. I’ve sent a few emails out to lesser known celebrities I’d like to interview, but anyone could be the subject of an interview this section!
Caroline Carter Smith – First, my basic information (in response to your initial question list):
What is your
What is your
astrological sign: Capricorn
How old are you
(exact or approximate): 41
What is your
earliest childhood memory: I hate this question - I'm not sure; possibly going
to nursery school when we lived in Florham Park.
immediate family (present day): One husband, two sons, (ages 4 and 8), one dog
(age 10 - she was our first child)
What do you do
for a living: Trademark Attorney
Where were you
born: Summit, NJ
What did you want to be when you were growing up: It changed daily - a doctor, President, an astronaut. Never a lawyer, though.
Douglas Kent - How did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? And was it difficult giving birth to a dog?
Carter Smith - We worked together - he was my boss. And no, it was not love at first
sight. I was engaged to my first husband when I interviewed with Jonathan and
married when I started the job. I was in law school at the time and Jonathan
did not want to hire me because I was going to need to leave at 5 every day to
go to class. Probably not even like at first sight.
Re: the dog - very funny.
Douglas Kent - So it was funny giving
birth to a dog? How so? Did the fur tickle?
Caroline Carter Smith - Let's leave out the giving birth to a dog line of questioning - it's getting weird.
Douglas Kent - What type of work was it Jonathan hired you to do? If he did not want to hire you, then why did he? Was he unable to resists your feminine charms?
Carter Smith - Jonathan hired me to be a paralegal at a law firm. He was required to
hire me - the lawyer in charge was trying to get business from my husband's
Douglas Kent - Being a trademark attorney sounds like a very fast-faced, action-filled profession. Why do you think, given the tremendous number of television shows based on law firms, there has never been one based specifically on the business and social life of a trademark attorney?
Caroline Carter Smith – I’m not sure being a trademark attorney is as interesting to those not in the profession as you might think it would be. But working at the law firm is fun. I think it doesn't matter what type of law the lawyers on TV practice - the real thing is always more interesting than fiction. Also, how much law do the people on those shows really practice?
Douglas Kent - So in effect, you were
hired for that job as a sort of nepotism? Didn't it bother you that somewhere
in the long line of applicants was a single mother of six who likely became so
depressed over not getting the job that she left her family and now pushes a
shopping cart full of doll parts through downtown Dayton, Ohio?
Caroline Carter Smith - It may have been a little bit of nepotism, but I was just as good as or better than anyone else they might have hired, so all were served.
Douglas Kent -Is there a hierarchy of legal specialties? How might it go?
Carter Smith - Hmmm - hierarchy of legal specialties...IMHO, it's litigators and then
Douglas Kent - I'm not sure the lawyers on television practice a lot of law, but they seem to carry manila folders everywhere they go. Do you use a lot of manila folders?
Caroline Carter Smith - I don't use any manila folders.
Douglas Kent - Can you describe the most
interesting case that you've been involved in? Obviously you can leave the
litigants' names out.
Caroline Carter Smith - I'm not a litigator. I mostly fight with the Trademark Office. When I was an Examining Attorney there I examined some fun trademark applications. I registered TIGER BEAT (yes, the magazine - couldn't figure out why they waited so long to file a trademark application.) This link shows the Examining Attorney's name as Caroline Whitmire. Whitmire was my first husband's last name.
Douglas Kent - For those planning on a lucrative career in the legal world, what advice do you have to offer?
Carter Smith - For those wanting to become an attorney, I say, think of something
else. You'll pay a lot of money for school and you'll have to pay it back, but
that will be hard to do if you can't find a job. And finding a job is no easy
task these days. I also don't recommend hanging out a shingle when you graduate
from law school. I don't know anyone who actually learned to be a lawyer in law
Douglas Kent - Is it true you went to High School with Douglas Kent? Was he much different back then compared to today? Can you give five good reasons why you never dated him in High School?
Carter Smith - Yes, I knew Doug way back when. I have not actually spoken to him since
getting reconnected, so I cannot say for sure if he is the same (things come
across differently via email than they do when talking) but I do think he is
still quite similar personality-wise. The thing I am most pleased to see is how
happy he seems to be with Heather. Finding the right person is one of the best
things a person can do for himself and clearly Doug has that taken care of.
I don't have five reasons why I never dated him in high school, but here are three:
1) He was dating someone else
2) So was I
3) He never asked
Douglas Kent - I'm told that your husband is no longer in the legal profession. Is that true? Was it a case of professional jealousy that pushed him in another direction, like something out of “A Star is Born”?
Caroline Carter Smith – Yes, Jonathan did get out of the legal profession. There was no jealousy - he's just smarter than I am.
Douglas Kent – Thanks for agreeing to be the first interview in the You Don’t Know Me section, Caroline. When life calms down perhaps we can touch on the topics we never had time to get to.
Desper: I didn't have any of the Buscemi films. I'm disappointed
since I admire his work so much, but some of those films (Trees Lounge, Romance
and Cigarettes, Interview) I have never seen.
[[Romance and Cigarettes is an odd musical film, written and directed by John Turturro. Had quite a cast: James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Buscemi, Kate Winslet, Christopher Walken…worth a try. I haven’t seen Trees Lounge since it first came out 15 years ago, but it was written and directed by Buscemi, and is also worth a try.]]
I had seen Con Air recently and that quote was sticking in my head, but I had seen Shutter Island more recently and that was blocking it. Also, I was close on the Armageddon quote but it was getting blocked where I thought it was either A Beautiful Mind or The Day After Tomorrow or Independence Day. I didn't guess any of these because none felt right.
The most recent Buscemi film I've seen is Saint John of Las Vegas. It's really some of his best work. He does a great job playing a compulsive gambler.
[[Missed that one. I’ll put
it on our Netflix list.]]
For the current batch, I was getting stuck on #10, which sounds a lot like Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor and also Alec Baldwin in Hunt for Red October. Well, Three Days of the Condor is on AMC right now and Redford says "I'm not a field agent, I read books!" Close, but not quite right. Also, I remember Sean Connery saying "might I have read some of these books", and that opens the door...esp. since #1 sounds a lot like Orient Express.
[[I loved Three Days of the Condor, and we have it on DVD. Need to reread the book too; was the book Seven Days of the Condor? Or Eight?]]
Don Williams: Thank you so much for the prize. Wow, I never win anything. I own seven or eight of the listed titles and have seen most of the other movies, so it really comes down to Dogma (an abiding favorite of mine that I still have on, ahem, VHS … and Adaptation, a film I enjoyed in the theater when it opened but haven’t seen since. I’ll pick … Adaptation … great movie, haven’t seen it in a long while.
Last night I watched an old old WWII classic, Where Eagles Dare. Still a good flick. Have also recently seen Inception (simply amazing … a mix of Matrix, Dark City and, at its core, a heist/caper movie in the Grand Slam mode). Other recent watches were Platoon, Wizard of Oz (70th anniversary edition with amazing and lovingly restored sound and visual), The Invention of Lying, Topkapi, The Silence of the Lambs, Strangers on a Train, Choke, Very Bad Things (probably the darkest comedy I’ve ever seen) and The Hot Rock. Rounding this out, we’re methodically going through all nine seasons of Seinfeld … I was a fan of the show but probably missed 50% of the episodes with one thing and another (that was my major child-rearing era), as well as the Firefly series. I also bought and started watching the first season of a show I loved dearly when I was a child, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Interesting (ideas and concepts of sci-fi and Cold War fears) and inane (truly insipid special effects) at the same time. It’s got prelude to Star Trek written all over it …
[[I think it is quite an undersell of Dark City to mention it in the same sentence with Inception. Dark City is amazing…Inception was just a popcorn flick to me.]]
Paraic Reddington: Paul Mikewski said in his column last issue:
Consider cup sizes. I know a D cup is bigger than a C cup, etc. Can you, or anyone you know, describe the
volume of breast contained in a D cup in terms of cubic centimeters or any other measure? Would it make a
difference if you could? The important thing isn’t a precise quantification; it’s your experience of the thing.
I found that to be one of the most enjoyable paragraphs I have read in a long, long time. Bravo, Paul.
Michael Moulton: Sad to see the Deviant Dip game end... I'm not sure I would ever want to play one, but reading it was a highlight of every issue!
Per Westling: Thanks for the Fire and Rain series.
I don’t see many movies (the last 10 years) or much television series. But at a recent meeting at the local SF club we watched episode one of the BBC “Sherlock” series that started this summer. It takes place in contemporary time, still in London. For example, Dr Watson has been to Afghanistan. A successful adaption of the original story. I would regard this as one of the best versions. One reviewer thought it was similar in style to House of 2005, although I have not really seen House so I cannot compare.
[[They had a Holmes play on one of the small stages in Dallas, but I think that was simply an adaptation in style, not changing the time period. Of course, The Name of the Rose is just a Holmes story at heart as well.]]
In ES#42 you did comment on the market, and the near future. Here things have improved quite a lot during the last year. Notwithstanding any new Latin crises I would say that good times are not far away.
[[The housing market in the U.S. continues to be terrible, showing no real signs of improvement. I am not optimistic.]]
After following ES for some time now I was just wondering what you spent time for? I was away from the hobby about 10 years so I did miss some things. Seem to remember that there was someone in mid 90s that even published a ‘zine from jail.
[[It’s a long story, but the short story is I was incarcerated for securities fraud, of which I was technically guilty and admitted all my actions. I tried to help my company out of a problem without authorization, and it blew up in my face. My intentions were good, I did not steal anything, and I could not have personally profited, but I broke the law and was guilty. So I did not fight it at all, I pled guilty and paid my debt to society.
John Schultz was the publisher of “Gee Martha, it Kinda Sorta Looks Like a Dip Rag, Don’t It?” which he published from prison, either typed or by hand. I had restarted Maniac’s Paradise as Maniac’s Paradise Lost before learning I was going to be charged, so I finished that up from prison as well. John served his sentence and was released. Tragically he was killed in a motorcycle accident.]]
One of the things I missed out on was the demise of Phil Reynolds, editor of Dipadeedoodah!. That was one of my favorite ‘zines of the 90s. Sorry to hear about that. I suppose there are more events of that kind that I have not been aware of. At least Graustark survived my “return” which is amazing as it was ancient when I entered the hobby in the late 80s.
[[We sadly lose more friends every year. Fred Hyatt died when you were still publishing. We’ve lost so many. Bob Acheson, Phil Reynolds, Kathy Caruso…I know I am leaving many out.]]
As the year goes by one come to realize that it is important to stay in shape. I try to do some exercise but as I have never enjoyed running, and I never managed to get hooked on golf. Instead I have done “Friskis & Svettis” (a group floor exercise with a leader, “Fresh & Sweaty”) and walks (including the dog). But some months ago I at last got a smart phone that had GPS (and Spotify), a HTC Desire. So, I tried geoCaching this summer! Combines the exercise part (riding my bike around the nearest region, or combining bus/train + walks), with brain exercise as well learning some history by visiting interesting places. Also it encourages people to travel around to other regions and countries, and to meet kindred spirits. It seems that in the US the geoCaching is becoming more and more of the drive-in (or drive-by) type, which is probably in line with more or more people getting harder to get out. Of course this is a trend (the non-moving) that is growing all around the world.
[[Both Heather and I look forward to lots of walks once Kayza arrives!]]
F to E - “Please Leave Liverpool Alone and Die”
by Paul Milewski
The title of this article was part of a press item directed toward me, albeit in binary, in “Just a Taste.” It gave me pause to consider the extent to which we’ve lost the art of polite communication. As an accountant, I am struck by the contrast between today’s “Pay this amount” and the “Please favor us with a remittance at your earliest convenience” of a couple centuries ago.
In her book General Howe’s Dog, Caroline Tiger recounts the Revolutionary War incident in which (British) General Howe’s fox terrier found its way to George Washington. Washington had his aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton write a note to Howe, which read: “General Washington’s compliments to General Howe, does himself the pleasure to return a Dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the collar, appears to belong to General Howe.” The dog was returned to Howe with the note, after the dog had been fed and groomed.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, there was an exchange of messages between foes that by today’s standards would be astoundingly civil. In The Oxford Dictionary of Civil War Quotations can be found the text of the message between (US Major) Robert Anderson (who was in command of the forts in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina) and South Carolina Governor Francis Pickens. On 1/9/1861, Anderson writes: “Two of your batteries fired this morning on an unarmed vessel bearing the flag of my government. As I have not been notified that war has been declared by South Carolina against the United States, I cannot but think this a hostile act committed without your sanction or authority. Under that hope I refrain from opening fire on your batteries. I have the honor, therefore, respectfully to ask whether the abovementioned act—one which I believe without parallel in the history of our country or any other civilized government—was committed in obedience to your instructions, and notify you, if it is not disclaimed, that I regard it as an act of war and I shall not, after reasonable time for the return of my messenger, permit any vessel to pass within the range of the guns of my fort.” Pickens wrote Anderson on the same day: “Governor Pickens, after stating the position of South Carolina toward the United States, says that any attempt to send United States troops into Charleston Harbor, to re-enforce the forts, would be regarded as an act of hostility.” (Personally, I’ve never been comfortable when someone refers to himself in the third person, but it sounds official that way.) (Confederate) General Beauregard wrote Anderson on 4/11/1861: “I am ordered by the government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with company arms and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may elect. The flag which you have upheld so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted by you on taking it down.”
Anderson replied: “I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort; and to say in reply thereto that is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor and of my obligations to my government prevent my compliance.” Ulysses S. Grant wrote to Colonel Lorenzo Thomas, the US Army’s adjutant general, 5/24/1861: “Having served for fifteen years in the regular army, including four years at West Point, and feeling it the duty of everyone who has been educated at the Government expense to offer their (sic) service for the support of the Government, I have the honor, very respectfully, to tender my services until the close of the war, in such capacity as may be offered. I would say, in view of my present age and length of service, I feel myself competent to command a regiment, if the President, in his judgment should see fit to entrust one to me.” Robert E. Lee wrote to General Winfield Scott 4/20/1861: “I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been presented at once but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from service to which I have devoted the best years of my life, and all the ability I possess.”
In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich William Shirer reprinted part of the telegram from British Foreign Secretary Hallifax to the British ambassador in Berlin instructing him to deliver a note to German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop on 9/3/1939 at 9 a.m.: “Although this communication [referring to the previous note delivered] was made more than 24 hours ago, no reply has been received but German attacks upon Poland have been continued and intensified. I have accordingly the honor to inform you that, unless not later than 11 a.m. British summer time, today September 3, satisfactory assurances to the above effect have been given by the German Government and have reached His Majesty’s Government in London, a state of war will exist between the two countries as from that hour.”
nice as politeness and beating around the bush can be, my personal favorite
example of blunt speaking was Molotov’s question to Ribbentrop on the occasion
of Molotov’s visit to Berlin on 11/12/40.
British bombers had arrived overhead in the skies above Berlin on the
evening of November 13 (it gets dark in Berlin around 4 o’clock that time of
year) shortly after 9 o’clock.
Ribbentrop and Molotov scampered to the air raid shelter of the German
Foreign Ministry. Ribbentrop went on and
on about how the British were practically beaten, at which point Molotov asked
Ribbentrop: “If that is so, why are we
in this shelter, and whose are these bombs which fall?”
by Richard Walkerdine
Three nuns are killed in a car crash. A terrible tragedy. Of course they all go to heaven.
When they get to the Pearly Gates St Peter is waiting for them, looking a little embarrassed. “Sisters,” he says, “I am very sorry but we are so full at the moment that I must ask you to give a correct answer to a question before I can let you in.” Then he smiles. “But as you are all nuns I will try to make the questions easy.”
He turns to the first nun and asks her, “Who was the first woman?”
“Eve,” replies the nun.
“Very good,” says St Peter. “In you come.” Then he turns to the second nun. “And where did Eve live?” he asks.
“In the garden of Eden,” she replies.
“Absolutely right,” smiles St Peter. “Please enter.” Then he turns to the third nun, who happens to be the Mother Superior. “Ah, you are the Mother Superior,” he says. “I’m afraid that means I have to make your question a bit more difficult.”
“Oh yes St Peter,” replies the Mother Superior, “I quite understand.”
“Very well,” says St Peter. “In that case what did Eve say the first time she saw Adam?”
The Mother Superior pauses, she frowns and scratches her head. “Oh that is a hard one,” she mutters.
“Oh well done!” says St Peter. “Absolutely right!”
I’VE RETIRED FROM BRITISH AEROSPACE!
by Richard Walkerdine
An old man stood at the Pearly Gates,
His head was bent and low,
St. Peter looked at him and smiled,
“What did you do below?”
The old man lifted up his head,
And brushed away some tears,
“I worked for B A e,” he said,
“For many, many years,”
St. Peter opened up the gates,
And quickly rang the bell,
“Come in,” he said, “and choose your harp.”
“You’ve had your share of Hell!”
(But to be honest I greatly enjoyed my career at BAe and Airbus)
Brain Farts: The Only Subsubzine With It’s Own Fragrance
By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh – email@example.com
(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)
I have nothing to day. Life sucks. Can’t find work. Unemployment running out. And I get older every day. Well….there’s still beer.
Adults’-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), William Wood (WW).
Round 9 Categories:
1. An artist whose work can be considered erotic. Dali – BW. Peter North – PR. Goya – KW. Goergia O’Keefe – MM. Egon Scheile – MB. Klimt – HT.
2. A current television actress men might fantasize about. Sofia Vergara – BW. January Jones – PR. Terri Hatcher – KW. Christina Hendricks – MM. Kathy Baker – MB. Kim Cardashian – HT.
3. The worst anniversary gift, from a woman’s perspective. Aftershave – BW. The iRon – PR. Appliance – KW. Blender – MM. Toilet Brush – MB. Vacuum – HT.
4. Another term for a woman’s breasts. Norks – BW. Funbags – PR. Tits – KW, MM, MB. Boobs – HT.
5. Another word or phrase for sex other than “fuck.” Dipping the Dolphin – BW. Masturbation – PR. Screw – KW. Making Love – MM, MB. Shag – HT.
New Scores: Martin Burgdorf (MB) – 135, Michael Moulton (MM) – 126, Heather Taylor (HT) - 122, Kevin Wilson (KW) – 119, Mark D Lew (MDL) - 118, Brendan Whyte (BW) – 110, Paraic Reddington (PR) - 109, Bill Brown (BB) – 106, William Wood (WW) – 80, John David Galt (JDG) – 75.
Round 10 Categories – the LAST Round:
1. Number of women a man has had sex with in his lifetime.
2. Worst thing about the vagina.
3. Sexiest color.
4. Something rude to call a woman to her face.
5. A job women should not have.
Deadline will be the Friday before Doug’s deadline, which means this month it will be September 24th at midnight.
Two Beggars in
Rome are sitting side by side on a street. One has a Crucifix in
front of him the other one the Star of David. Many people go by and look at
both beggars, but only put money into the hat of the beggar sitting behind the cross.
A priest comes by, stops and watches throngs of people giving money to the beggar behind the cross, but none give to the beggar behind the Star of David. Finally, the priest goes over to the beggar behind the Star of David and says, 'My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country; this city is the seat of Catholicism... People aren't going to give money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who has a cross. In fact, they would probably give to him just out of spite.'
The beggar behind the Star of David listened to the priest, turned to the other beggar
with the cross and said: 'Moishe, look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing?’
A white-haired man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a beautiful young blonde at his side.
He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend. The jeweler
looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring. The old man said, "No, I'd like to see something more special."
At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over. "Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000," he said.
The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with excitement. The old man seeing this said, "We'll take it."
The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the old man stated, "By check. I know
you need to make sure my check clears so I'll write it now, and you can call the bank on Monday morning to verify the funds and I'll pick the ring up on Monday afternoon," he
morning, the jeweler phoned the old man and said "Sir, there's no
money in that
"I know," said the old man, "but let me tell you about my weekend!"
Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Zachary Jarvie, Brad Wilson, Jeff O’Donnell, needs four more to fill.
Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: Five, need two 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: http://www.variantbank.org/results/rules/y/youngstown.htm. Signed up: Phil Murphy, Brad Wilson, need eight more to fill. Sign up now, need more at least one more this issue or I drop it!
Final Conflict III (Black Press): Tom Swider’s global nuclear variant. Rules and map elsewhere in this issue. Signed up: Brad Wilson, David McCrumb, need five more to fill. Sign up now, need more at least one more this issue or I drop it!
By Popular Demand: Game currently 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.
Diplomacy “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” 2008A, F 12
Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” comcast.net): A Bohemia Supports A Munich (*Cut*),
A Budapest - Galicia (*Fails*), A Galicia - Silesia (*Fails*), F Ionian Sea Hold,
A Ukraine Supports A Sevastopol – Moscow, A Vienna - Tyrolia (*Bounce*).
England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of”gmail.com): F Belgium Hold,
A Berlin Supports A Ruhr – Munich, F Brest – Gascony, F English Channel – Brest, A Gascony – Paris,
F Holland – Kiel, A Livonia Supports A Moscow – Warsaw, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold, A Moscow – Warsaw,
F North Atlantic Ocean Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F Portugal Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
A Prussia Supports A Moscow – Warsaw, A Ruhr – Munich, A Silesia - Bohemia (*Fails*),
A St Petersburg - Moscow (*Fails*).
France (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” hotmail.com): No Moves Received..A Burgundy Unordered.
Italy (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” fontana.org): A Marseilles Supports F Spain(sc),
Munich Supports A Bohemia - Silesia (*Disbanded*), F North Africa -
Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*),
A Piedmont - Tyrolia (*Bounce*), F Spain(sc) Supports F North Africa - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
F Western Mediterranean Supports F Spain(sc).
Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com): F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*),
F Black Sea – Constantinople, A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Rumania Hold, A Sevastopol – Moscow,
A Smyrna Hold.
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5, Remove 1
England: Belgium, Berlin, Brest, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Munich, Norway,
Paris, Portugal, St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=16, Build 1
France: None=0, OUT!!
Italy: Marseilles, Naples, Rome, Spain, Tunis, Venice=6, Build 1
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Moscow, Rumania, Sevastopol, Smyrna=7, Build 1
W 1912/S 1913 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
CON: Like a python, I guess.
Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, W 08/S 09
Austria (Lance Anderson – lance_anderson “of” hotmail.com): F Apulia – Naples,
A Bohemia Supports A Silesia – Munich, A Galicia – Silesia, A Piedmont Supports A Marseilles,
A Prussia - Berlin (*Fails*), A Silesia – Munich, A Tyrolia Supports A Silesia - Munich.
England (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” gmail.com): Remove A Paris.. F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc)
(*Fails*), F English Channel Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
A Finland Supports F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc), A Gascony - Spain (*Fails*),
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports A Gascony – Spain, F North Atlantic Ocean - Norwegian Sea,
F North Africa - Western Mediterranean (*Bounce*).
France (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 ”of” yahoo.com): F Portugal Supports F Spain(sc) - Mid-Atlantic
Germany (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” hotmail.com): No Moves Received.. F Berlin Hold,
Burgundy Hold, A Kiel Hold,
A Munich Hold (*Disbanded*), A Ruhr Hold.
Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” gmail.com): Build A Ankara, F Smyrna, plays 1 short..
F Adriatic Sea – Apulia, F Albania - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), A Ankara – Sevastopol,
F Black Sea Convoys A Ankara – Sevastopol, F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*),
A Marseilles Supports F Spain(sc), A Moscow Supports A St Petersburg, F Smyrna - Aegean Sea,
F Spain(sc) Supports F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Void*), A St Petersburg Hold,
F Tunis - North Africa (*Fails*), F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean (*Bounce*).
Would Martin Burgdorf (martin_burgdorf “of” hotmail.com) please standby for Germany?
Fall 09 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
Bud - Ank: How's your Russian spring break going?
Prime Minister to All: How did it come to this? The
Empire's outer territories assaulted, her armies cast back, her entire
battleplan in disarray. This is a LARGE crisis. This is our nation's nadir. A
time for our leaders to stand up and be counted. We will perservere, wewill
endure. And we will regroup, stronger and more united of purp... YOU, BOY, IN
THE BACK, STOP SNIGGERING!
Por-London: You are doomed and
I am delighted.
Por-Berlin: You too. Allah akbar!
C to all Agents: The Circus is back in business.
The ringmaster and his cronies have been ousted. All monkeys are to infiltrate
the organ grinders' sheds and locate the peanuts for immediate consumption
before writing up the resulting hallucinations on the 10,000 typewriters provided.
Apes and Gorillas are to hold off on monkey business pending transport to the developing Banana plantations in Bahamas Station.
London Station also advises the following: Avoid contact with Giraffes at all costs. Section chiefs to report back to the Chief Orang-u-tan with contents of agreed drops.
“Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse
Billy Ray Valentine: No activity.
Duke of York: Passes.
Smaug the Dragon: Sells 500 Marks and 371 Pounds. Buys 500 Crowns.
Rothschild: Sells 500 Crowns. Buys 349 Piastres.
Baron Wuffet: All hold.
Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Sells 500 Piastres. Buys 716 Crowns.
VAIONT Enterprises: Sells 500 Piastres and 500 Pounds. Buys 1135 Crowns.
Insider Trading LLC: Sells 500 Crowns and 500 Pounds. Buys 643 Piastres.
Bourse Master: Sells 500 Pounds. Buys 294 Piastres.
Next Bourse Deadline is September 27th at 7:00pm my time
DUKE OF YORK to ROTHSCHILD: Your trading brilliance astounds me but you fail to see the promise in English pounds!!!
Rothschild => Duke of Earl: Thank you for your congratulations, but why did you not trade? And how is it possible that the dragon got even less money than "Any New Player"?
THE NOT-SO-MAGNIFICANT TO ALL: Have I lost my touch? *snorts
smoke* The fire in me is cooling down, I can feel the cold claws of my doom
upon me.... maybe the Duke of York is right.... this Russian coal is no good!
Baron Wuffet: Tell me when to look!
SMAUG TO ROTHSCHILD: This may be true, that your financial empire is bigger than a nation, but what are you going to spend it on? Cuckoo clocks? Zurich isn't all it's cracked up to be... Land, that's where the money is. Dragons know these things.And you, Rothschild, have your finger in the AT pie!!! Why do it yourself when you can control the Archduke and the Sultan with your immense wealth? *snorts flames*
Austria (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” hotmail.com): No Moves Received..Disband A Galicia..
F Albania Hold, A Budapest Hold, A Serbia Hold, A Trieste Hold, A Ukraine Hold.
England (Paul Milewski – paul.milewski “of” hotmail.com): F Barents Sea Convoys A St Petersburg –
A St Petersburg – Norway (*Disbanded*),
F Wales - English Channel.
France (Paraic Reddington - Paraic.Reddington “of” vix-erg.com): F Apulia Supports F Ionian Sea,
A Burgundy Hold, F Clyde – Liverpool, F Ionian Sea Convoys A Naples – Greece,
F Irish Sea Supports F Clyde – Liverpool, A Naples – Greece, A Tuscany Supports A Venice,
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia – Vienna, F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea,
F Western Mediterranean – Tunis, A Yorkshire - London.
Germany (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” gmail.com): A Bohemia – Vienna, F Finland - St Petersburg(sc),
A Galicia - Ukraine (*Fails*), F Gulf of Bothnia Supports F Finland - St Petersburg(sc),
A Livonia Supports A Warsaw – Moscow, A Munich – Bohemia,
F Norway Supports F Finland - Gulf of Bothnia (*Fails*), A Silesia – Warsaw, A Venice Hold, A Warsaw - Moscow.
Turkey (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): Retreat F Ionian Sea - Eastern Mediterranean..
F Adriatic Sea Supports F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea,
F Aegean Sea Supports F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea (*Fails*),
Moscow Supports A Ukraine (*Dislodged*, retreat Sevastopol or OTB).
Would Jeremie Lefrancois (jeremie.lefrancois “of”gmail.com) please standby for Austria?
A/W 06 and Spring 07 deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
Supply Center Chart:
Austria: Budapest, Bulgaria, Rumania, Serbia, Trieste=5, Even
England None=0, OUT!!
France: Belgium, Brest, Edinburgh, Greece, Liverpool, London, Marseilles, Naples, Paris, Portugal,
Rome, Spain, Tunis=13, Build 2
Germany: Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Moscow, Munich, Norway, St Petersburg, Sweden,
Venice, Vienna, Warsaw=12, Build 2
Turkey: Ankara, Constantinople, Sevastopol, Smyrna=4, Even or Build 1
E to F: I got the “PLEASE LEAVE LIVERPOOL ALONE AND DIE.” I think your message got garbled in the next sentence. The character you wrote is 00011001 and (8-bit EBCDIC) characters beginning with three zeroes are nonprintable control characters. I’m guessing you meant “THERE’S A GOOD CHAP.”
TO ENGLAND - Begone foul demon of Cherobohem! Get thee hence.
TO GERMANY - Is there no answer for the black death that spreads through Europe??
Kaiser Wilhelm to All: Now wir sehen! Who laughs at mighty Deutschland
G TO F: Your gifts of Ludo, Boggle and Twister are much appreciated by my troops! At least it'll stop them burning down the mess hall for a few hours.
Now... Race you to Constantinople! My trains against your ships.... Ready?
TO AUSTRIA - I don't suppose you'd be so kind as to leave the key under the mat would you?
TO TURKEY - I don't suppose you'd be so kind as to leave the back door open would you?
G TO E: Ah, zat is zer speech impedimente. I can
understand zer confusion. Incurable zadly.
TO FRANCE - Change the batteries on the remote control before you wear out the buttons by pushing so hard dimwit.
White Press Diplomacy “Creepshow” 2009D, W 04/S 05
Austria (Brad Wilson
- bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com):
Trieste Supports A Vienna (*Dislodged*, ret
Venice, Albania, OTB),
A Vienna Supports A
England (Chuy Cronin – chuykdc_92 “of” hotmail.com): Build F London.. F Denmark - Kiel (*Fails*),
F London - North Sea, F Norway Hold, F Norwegian Sea Supports F Norway, A Yorkshire Hold.
France (Michael Cronin – mfmcronin “of” q.com): F Belgium Hold,
A Bohemia Supports A Burgundy – Munich, A Burgundy – Munich, A Gascony – Burgundy,
A Picardy Supports F Belgium, A Tyrolia Supports A Burgundy - Munich.
Germany (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” yahoo.com): Remove F Helgoland Bight..
F Holland - Belgium (*Fails*), A Kiel Supports A Munich (*Cut*),
A Munich Supports A
Ruhr (*Dislodged*, ret Berlin, OTB), A Ruhr Supports A Munich.
Italy (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): F Naples Supports A Venice – Apulia,
A Silesia – Prussia, F Tunis - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), A Venice - Apulia.
Russia (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” comcast.net): A Budapest Supports A Galicia – Vienna,
A Galicia – Vienna, A Rumania – Galicia, F Sevastopol Hold, F St Petersburg(nc) Supports F Sweden – Norway,
F Sweden - Norway (*Fails*), A Warsaw - Silesia.
Turkey (Larry Cronin – lcroninmd “of” msn.com): F Adriatic Sea Supports A Serbia – Trieste,
Apulia - Venice (*Dislodged*, ret Rome, OTB), F Eastern Mediterranean -
F Greece Supports F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Serbia - Trieste.
Thanks to Paul Milewski for the unneeded standby orders
F 05 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
F-World: The itsy bitsy German climbed up the water spout.... down came the french and washed the german out.
Vienna: Thrilling, eh?
F-World: WOW. how did that blob of red turn suddenly into white?
Diplomacy “Bellicus” from Strange Meeting, Fall/Winter 1910
France (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” yahoo.com): A Brest Supports A Picardy,
A Edinburgh – Liverpool, A Paris Supports A Brest, A Picardy Supports A Brest (*Cut*).
Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” asciiking.com): A Belgium - Picardy (*Fails*),
A Budapest Supports A Vienna – Trieste, A Burgundy – Gascony,
F English Channel Supports A Belgium – Picardy, A Galicia Supports A Budapest,
F Irish Sea - North Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*), A Moscow - Ukraine (*Fails*), A Munich – Burgundy,
F Norway - Norwegian Sea, A Tyrolia Supports A Vienna – Trieste, A Ukraine Holds, A Vienna - Trieste (*Fails*),
F Wales - Irish Sea (*Fails*)..In Winter: Builds F St. Petersburg(nc).
Turkey (Phil Amos – p.v.a “of” btinternet.com): F Aegean Sea Convoys A Constantinople – Greece,
A Armenia Supports A Sevastopol, F Black Sea Supports A Rumania, F Bulgaria(ec) Supports A Rumania,
A Constantinople – Greece, F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, F Marseilles Supports F Piedmont,
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - North Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*), F Piedmont Supports F Marseilles,
F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*), A Rumania Supports A Sevastopol, A Serbia Supports F Trieste,
A Sevastopol Supports A Rumania, F Spain(sc) Supports F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*),
F Trieste Supports A Venice (*Cut*), A Venice Supports F Trieste.
Now Proposed – Concesison to Russia. Please Vote!
Thanks to Brad Wilson for the unneeded standby orders!
Spring/Summer 1911 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
Supply Center Chart
France: Brest, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Paris=4, Even
Russia: Belgium, Berlin, Budapest, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, London, Moscow, Munich, Norway,
St Petersburg, Sweden, Vienna, Warsaw=14, Build 1
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Marseilles, Naples, Portugal, Rome, Rumania,
Serbia, Sevastopol, Smyrna, Spain, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=16, Even
None…you guys suck.
Deviant Dip II – “Black Licorice” – 2009Brc08 – End Game
Don Williams - I came. I saw. I ducked. So to speak.
Special thanks to all those who saw the wonderfully crafted rule that
eliminated me from this nightmarish farce, and voted for it. Boos,
hisses, and catcalls for Boob’s idiotic attempt to drag me back in against my
will. Thanks to the GM for suggesting perpetual orders. Kinda weird
that a dead guy could send in perpetual orders, but that’s the nature of
My hat’s off to those of you foolish enough to brave the whole of this
game, and sincere congrats to Heather for an excellently played end
game and a well-deserved win. And Doug, if you ever think about running
this again, please get back on your meds. Quickly.
Russell Blau - I have to say that this game was a bit of a disappointment for me; not in terms of the outcome, but of the process. I have not been very active in the Dip hobby lately. I returned a few years ago to online play after a very long complete absence, but then started to fade away again. I joined this game hoping for a chance to reconnect with a few old friends and to make some new ones. Knowing well what Deviant is, I was more interested in the interaction among players than in winning or losing. I sent out a few messages to other players before the first season and got a few noncommittal responses, but it very soon became clear that no one, and I do mean no one, was going to bother to write to me unless I wrote to them first, and even then they might not respond. I pretty soon got tired of making the effort, and the game pretty much devolved into Gunboat Deviant, which at least to me isn't much fun. I then got stuck in a pattern of not paying attention until the deadline was looming, not reading the rules and proposals carefully enough, and paying the price for it.
Thank you, Doug, for putting up with us despite our collective efforts to drive you crazy; wait, you volunteered to run a Deviant game, so maybe there was no driving required. Congratulations to Heather, of course, for winning the game. And booby-gratulations to Mark, who clearly is a better rules lawyer than any of the rest of us and took full advantage of all the opportunities he found.
Mark D Lew: Russia/Nussia
I totally played dirty to get this booby prize. I initially joined the game because I was recruited by Jason and Pete. I've been out of the postal hobby since forever, but Jason, Pete, and I were regular gaming buddies when the three of us all lived in the Bay Area, some time around 1990-2004. I'm not sure Doug ever realized, but I ran a game of this in Benzene before Pete ran his in Perelandra. I think that was in the 1980s. The rules were slightly different then, before Phil Reynolds revised them. I think the main difference is my starting rules were one vote per player instead of one vote per dot (though of course that gets changed pretty quickly by new rules). It's a dim memory now, but I'm pretty sure I invented the original version.
Most of the other players turned out to be old farts, too. I had crossed paths with Russ in postal games somewhere or other, but didn't remember the details. Jim-Bob was one of my best buddies from the postal Dip world. I had met Don once at Pete's house, though I didn't know him well. John Galt I had met a few times at local cons. The only one I didn't know was John Walker, who I quickly starting thinking of as the Noob.
As part of the recruitment, Jason had an idea that in the first turn we had to pass some sort of rule that would expand the scope of passing new rules. It would be an investment in the future, where we'd forgo pushing our fun rules on the first turn in order to pass something boring and lawyerly that would give us more opportunity to pass fun rules for the rest of the game. So even before the game we agreed we'll all pool our votes to pass that on the first turn, and then no further commitments after that.
After that I fell into an alliance with Jason by default. We were in regular communication, and I hardly ever heard anything from anyone else -- including Pete, who went mostly incommunicado long before he dropped out. I'm still not sure what happened with him; I assume it was just that real life got busy.
Since Jason and I were Russia and Turkey it seemed natural to go after Austria and Italy. Austria was the Noob. Galt had not been part of our clique in the California days, so it was easy to see him as our nemesis, though I later came to realize of all the players he was the one playing the game most like I was, ie, trying to pass fun rules but at the same time always angling for a better position.
At first we were just goofing around. The Noob was taking the game way too seriously, which is why one of my first rules was to transport his entire country into the middle of the Atlantic ocean. It wasn't so much that the rule would hurt his position -- in fact, in a lot of ways it made him stronger since he had four dots in a pretty solid defensive position -- it was more an artistic coup and a way to shake him out of his standard-Dip way of thinking.
Jason had a bug up his butt about "you're not supposed to try to win", which I couldn't get on board with. We both agreed -- as did everyone in the game, I think, except the noob -- that Deviant Dip is a performance art and it's more about goofy and creative rules, but even so, I think, you have to try to win or it's just pointless. Part of the fun is picking out the clever loopholes and surprise opportunities and turning them to your advantage. But any time I was successful at that, Jason would get pissed off and say, "stop trying to win", so I'd have to back down a bit to appease him.
Like a bad marriage, our alliance survived more out of laziness and habit than any compatibility. He would call every month and we'd coordinate about which rules we want to veto, and there would be perfunctory talk about where we should move our units. I should have switched to Russ or John Galt, but that would have required effort, so I just put up with Jason occasionally smacking me with a stop-the-leader rule. Twice I passed up possible shots at the win because of him. Right after the baseball rule passed I knew I had a shot at taking RP majority, but I chickened out partly because I knew that Jason would disapprove. Then when I spotted the loophole inherent in Blau's "rubber-glue" rule, I had a trick for a rule that would be guaranteed to go into effect no matter what the votes. I'm fairly sure I could have worded a proposal that would have given me a win either way, or at least awarded me a lot bigger, but I toned it down with much smaller rewards, just enough to prove the point without actually trying to use it to win. This last turn was the final straw though. If the game hadn't ended, Jason and I totally would have become enemies, as I think it pretty clear in the moves.
My path to booby-victory was purely opportunistic. All of the key rules were proposed by someone else. First was Russ's RP rule. Alone, it wasn't a big change yet, but immediately I wa focused on leading in RPs and how I might turn them into an eventual victory, an adjustment I don't think everyone picked up. Jason's Scrambled Eggs I didn't like, and I'm pretty sure I voted against it, but it turned out to be a key rule for me. By a combination of luck, skill, and cheating, I turned that into a superior board position. I got a relatively good draw out of the egg scrambling, but I don't think it was that great. Mostly it just helped that I had more dots and units to begin with. But the shake up was an opportunity to outthink other players and I correctly found the best position to take advantage of other players' weaknesses and turn it into more dots for me. The real key was secured defendable home centers in which to build. Again I had an advantage because I had more dots to choose from, but I still think others didn't play that part carefully enough. John figured it out soon after and spent the next several turns crafting proposals designed to reverse my advantage but I managed to thwart them all until the turn before last.
The cheating was an accident. The fall after the scramble I was figuring out moves that would maximize dot grabbing, but I had one unit left over that couldn't reach anything. At this point I was a little worried people would think I was trying too hard and that would make me a target. The prior turn someone had botched an order, so I figured, "aha, I'll misorder the unit, so maybe it'll make me look stupid." It seems silly in retrospect, but honestly I really was thinking this. So I wrote an order that seemed plausible by the alphabetic-adjacency rule but was in fact wrong, figuring it would make others think I too was just winging it and had not actually plotted out the entire alphabetic list (which of course I had). I then forgot all about this until a month later when I was looking at the adjudication thinking, "Damn, how did I manage to take all these dots?? I knew I made good moves but I didn't think they were THAT good." Well, it turned out Doug wasn't paying attention either, and he let the intentionally misordered unit go. I of course kept my big mouth shut. I still figured someone would object, possibly even Jason, but no one did, and the order stood. I think it was Vienna to Warsaw (which should have failed because Wales intervenes).
So now I had a bunch of dots and a relative stable position in the middle of the board. I survived Jason's Nasty Nussia rule largely because the other players bungled it. Everyone was supposed to take a dot from me, but everyone except Jason forgot to do so. That combined with the consolation price that Jason had written into the rule, allowing me to select a replacement home center, made it so I really wasn't that much worse afterward.
The other big rule where everyone was a bonehead was the baseball rule. This time John was paying attention and nabbed the Giants (which I assume really is his favorite team and not a strategic guess that they'd win a lot of spring training games). Jason and I picked our teams and everyone else once again forgot to pay attention so they got stuck with the Nationals. Then it was dumb luck that the Nationals sucked beyond our wildest hopes in Spring Training and drained all but the three of us down to zero votes. This made RP victory potentially graspable. John got a bunch of RPs out of the Giants and was now competitive with Jason and I, but his board position was weaker. He was actively pouring on the stop-the-leader rules now, and the rest of the board was naturally lining up behind him.
As long as Jason was with me we had enough votes to hold them all off, which we did for a while, but this last turn all hell was breaking loose. More than half the rules were anti-me, and Jason's proposals were the worst of the bunch. John had already poked a hole in my position with the rule allowing builds in Switzerland, and now there were a bunch more leveling rules and no way for me to stop them all. It was clear that my time at the top of the heap was over and I was going to come crashing down. So I figured fuck it, may as well go all out. I abandoned all voting for or against rules and abandoned all supports for my units, and just spent it all on a now-or-never blitz for RPs. I wasn't really sure exactly how many RPs I needed to buy to have a good chance at victory, so I just bought the maximum possible. And since I didn't think that was enough I read the whole damn zeen to find the secret word which bought me a bunch more.
At the time I thought I had to beat the new RPs which would be awarded for new rules passed. It wasn't until after the deadline that it occurred to me that the timing might be such that I could win even before that due to turn order. But it looks like I would have made it regardless.
Woot! Booby prize!
It was a fun game, but I'm glad it's over.
Black Press Gunboat, “Maple Sugar,” 2009Crb32, W 06/S 07
Austria: Retreat A Galicia – Silesia.. A Serbia - Budapest (*Bounce*), A Silesia Supports A Tyrolia – Munich,
A Trieste - Budapest (*Bounce*), A Tyrolia - Munich (*Bounce*),
A Venice Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea - Rome (*Void*).
England: F Edinburgh Supports F Norwegian Sea, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports A Gascony – Spain,
F Norwegian Sea Supports F Edinburgh (*Cut*).
France: A Spain – Portugal, F Tyrrhenian Sea - Tunis (*Bounce*).
Germany: Build A Berlin.. A Berlin Supports A Burgundy – Munich, A Brest – Gascony,
A Burgundy - Munich (*Bounce*), F Denmark - North Sea, F English Channel – Brest, A Gascony – Spain,
A Marseilles Supports A Gascony – Spain, F North Sea - English Channel,
F Yorkshire Supports F Denmark - North Sea.
Italy: Remove A Piedmont.. F Ionian Sea - Tunis (*Bounce*), A Rome - Venice (*Fails*).
Russia: Remove F Black Sea.. A Albania - Serbia (*Fails*), F Barents Sea - Norwegian Sea (*Fails*),
A Galicia - Budapest (*Bounce*), F Norway Supports F Barents Sea - Norwegian Sea, F Rumania Hold,
A St Petersburg – Livonia, A Warsaw - Galicia (*Fails*).
Turkey: Build F Smyrna.. F Ankara - Black Sea, A Bulgaria Supports F Greece,
A Constantinople Supports A Bulgaria, F Greece Supports F Smyrna - Aegean Sea, F Smyrna - Aegean Sea.
Concession to Germany Fails
Summer/Fall 1907 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
italy-->stupid france and idiot austria : when are you two bozos going to stop picking on the two center italy and worry about Germany or Austria or Turkey????
italy-->france: support my arse--when are you going to wake up and smell the crossiants you dumb frog--go back and fight over your own centers--leave the western med to the me.
Germany – World: No, no, i don't think so! A proposal with no chance of success put forward by some other power purely to provoke a general reaction against Germany.
T => A: I shall give you support, if you tell me exactly what I should order and if you attack Germany.
italy-->turkey: you want to work with FRANCE???? i think not---black press strikes again...
italy-->austria: turkey has over come long odds???? what game are you watching---he's only being attacked by russia and your moronic half stab....geez, i must a freakin' miracle worker since i'm fighting off two countries at once who both attcked me from turn one, eh?
E->G: I supported you to Spain, as promised. And I shall keep
the Russian navy blocked for as long as YOU want them blocked.
turkey-->russia: i see you want peace with turkey...the only question is how big of a piece you want...your words say peace peace peace but your units say war war war.
england-->russia: you going north or south??? if you don't decide you'll find yourself weak everywhere and you'll end up collapsing like an accordian if turkey or germany turns on you.
T => R: I've got to let you know that I attempt to gain control of the Black Sea.
R-T: Proposition accepted. I have disbanded my black sea fleet.
italy-->turkey: if you get spare some units from the static non-war with russia i could use a bit of help here since I am fighting off two countries with just three units
france-->austria: i'm not only the idiot president of this country but i'm a client as well!
A->T: The new Austrian Anthem, what do you all think?
I'm a Russian toady
I keep moving west
I won't wake up
Till I've lost Trieste
austria-->russia: c'mon don't be such a pansy...push harder on that knife in turkey's back you sissy-boy! (the tsar is laughing at you!)
germany-->turkey: there will now be a short interlude as i digest the rest of the cheesey morsals that were france and england and then its Dracht nach Osten for me.
turkey-->italy: hang on, i'm coming as soon as i can get this russian bear off my back!
T => E: Austria should attack Munich.
R-G: Can u leave some British cake--I mean SCs for me?
england-->germany: can you spare a unit for a fellow saxon down on his luck?
Graustark Game 2002D, Fall 1918
England (Fred Wiedemeyer – wiedem “of” planet.eon.net): F Barents Sea Hold, F Clyde Hold,
F London Hold, A Moscow Supports A Sevastopol (*Ordered to Move*), F Norway Hold,
A St Petersburg Supports A Moscow.
France (Andy Lischett – andy “of” lischett.com): F Aegean Sea Supports F Eastern Mediterranean – Smyrna,
F Brest Hold, A Bulgaria - Constantinople (*Fails*), F Eastern Mediterranean – Smyrna, F Ionian Sea Hold,
A Marseilles Hold, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold, A Naples Hold, A Paris Hold, A Piedmont Hold,
A Serbia Supports A Trieste, A Trieste Supports A Serbia, F Tunis Hold, F Tyrrhenian Sea Hold.
Germany (Michael Quirk – michaelpquirk “of” cs.com): F Baltic Sea - Sweden (*Bounce*),
A Budapest Supports A Rumania, A Galicia – Ukraine, F Gulf of Bothnia - Sweden (*Bounce*), A Munich Hold,
A Rumania Supports A Budapest, A Sevastopol – Armenia, A Silesia – Galicia, A Ukraine – Sevastopol,
A Vienna Supports A Budapest, A Warsaw Hold.
Russia (Harley Jordan – harleyj “of” alum.mit.edu): A Ankara Supports A Constantinople,
A Constantinople Supports F Smyrna (*Cut*),
Smyrna Supports A Constantinople (*Dislodged*, ret Syria, OTB).
Supply Center Chart
England: Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Moscow, Norway, St Petersburg=6, Even
France: Belgium, Brest, Bulgaria, Greece, Marseilles, Naples, Paris, Portugal, Rome, Serbia,
Smyrna, Spain, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=14, Build 1
Germany: Berlin, Budapest, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Munich, Rumania, Sevastopol, Sweden,
Vienna, Warsaw=11, Even
Russia: Ankara, Constantinople=2, Remove 1 or Even
DIAS Draw Failed. Now proposed are DIAS and E/F/G
W 18/S 19 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
Graustark Diplomacy Game 2004C, End Game
Gamestart announced: Graustark
757 (August 2004)
Game commenced: Graustrak 758 (October 2004)
Game ended: Eternal Sunshine 43 (August 2010)
GMs: John Boardman and Doug Kent
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY: Hank Alme
ENGLAND: Paul Koch
FRANCE: Fred Wiedemeyer
GERMANY: Dan Mathias
ITALY: Brendan Mooney
RUSSIA: John Biehl
TURKEY: Colin Bruce
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY 5 in '01, 4 in '02, 2 in '03, 0 in '04
ENGLAND 4 in '01, 4 in '02, 3(one unit short) in '03, 1 in '04, 1 in '05, 0 in ' 06
FRANCE 5 in '01, 5 in '02, 6 in '03, 7 in '04, 7 in '05, 7 in '06, 6 in '07, 4 in '08, 3 in '09, 0 in'10
GERMANY 5 in '01, 6(one unit short) in '02, 7 in '03, 10 in '04, 9 in '05, 10 in '06, 13 in '07, 14 in '08, 13 in '09, 16(two units short) in '10, 18 in '11
ITALY 4 in '01, 6 in '02, 6 in '03, 7 in '04, 8 in '05, 8 in '06, 7 in '07, 8 in '08, 7 in '09, 7 in '10, 6 in '11
RUSSIA 5 in '01, 4 in '02, 6 in '03, 5 in '04, 4 in '05, 2 in '06, 1 in '07, 1 in '08, 1 in '09, 1 in '10, 0 in '11
TURKEY 4 in '01, 4 in '02, 4 in '03, 4 in '04, 5 in '05, 7 in '06, 7 in '07, 7 in '08, 10(one unit short) in '09, 10 in '10, 10 in '11
Neutral 2 in '01, 1 in '02, 0 in '03
TURKEY (Colin Bruce): This game started in August 2004 and finished in August 2010 - six eventful years! Relations with John (Russia) were difficult from the start, and his flat refusal to establish a neutral zone in the Black Sea made me very suspicious of him. However, as Brendan (Italy) seemed to be hostile, I persevered with trying to please John, and let him have the Black Sea, as he wanted, in Fall 1901. When he then suggested, in all seriousness, that I give him Constantinople as well, I decided enough was enough. So when Brendan (Italy) and Hank (Austria-Hungary) suggested a set of anti-Russian moves for all of us in 1902, I jumped at the chance.
When the moves were published John was stunned by them. Unfortunately so were Hank and I. Brendan had pulled off the coup of stabbing Russia, Turkey AND Austria-Hungary simultaneously. Hank’s position never really recovered, and John proceeded to take his revenge on me. By Fall 1903 he had me backed into a Custer’s Last Stand position consisting of Gre, Bul, Con and Smy. Only the fact that Brendan didn’t want to see John get any bigger kept me from complete disaster.
Meanwhile in the west Dan (Germany) and Fred (France) were combining to take out the luckless Paul (England). In Fall 1904 Dan jumped three centres, from 7 to 10. One of these was Vie, which finally eliminated Hank, but another was StP, causing John to lose a unit. John had to release his grip on me in order to defend against this new German threat, and gradually I was able to claw my way back into the game.
When Dan clinically dispensed
with his loyal ally Fred in Fall 1907 and went for the solo win, everybody
agreed to combine against him and to keep France in the game.
Unfortunately Brendan (Italy)’s first action as part of the new anti-German alliance
was to grab a centre from struggling France, and it became clear that his sole
reason for signing up was to engineer the elimination of Fred and to steal his
centres. I tried politely asking Brendan not to do this, which was
allowing Germany a free ride, but he ignored me.
The final twist in the game
came in Fall 1909. Brendan looked certain to finish the turn on 10 or 11
centres, which would make him too powerful for the rest of us to
restrain. I wasn’t prepared to see this happen, so after much
soul-searching I decided to move from polite persuasion to force. After
all, what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander. My reading of
Brendan’s personality was that there was a 50-50 chance, perhaps even 60-40,
that he would react by throwing the game to Germany . However, as Germany
already looked like winning as a result of what was being done to France, I
felt I might as well try. Brendan reacted to my removal of 3 of his
centres in precisely the way I had feared, and Dan (Germany) exploited the
disunity of his opponents to seal victory.
A frustrating game, then, but still an enormously enjoyable one. I particularly enjoyed the last few seasons for England, during which Paul let me do the ordering for him, and the combined might of Germany and France was held off for a time, much to the amusement of neutral observers. Thanks very much to John and Doug for GMing, and to Hank, Paul, Fred, Dan, Brendan and John for all the entertainment. Congratulations to Dan on the win.
Graustark Diplomacy Game 2006A, S 07
Austria (Don Williams – dwilliams “of” fontana.org): A Bohemia - Munich (*Fails*),
A Galicia - Bohemia (*Fails*), F Greece - Ionian Sea, A Rumania - Galicia (*Fails*),
A Tyrolia Supports A Bohemia – Munich, A Vienna Supports A Galicia - Bohemia (*Fails*).
England (Fred Wiedemeyer – wiedem “of” planet.eon.net): F Liverpool - Irish Sea,
F London - English Channel, F North Atlantic Ocean Supports F Liverpool - Irish Sea,
F Norway Supports F St Petersburg(nc), A Paris - Gascony (*Fails*),
F Picardy Supports F London - English Channel, F St Petersburg(nc) Supports F Norway.
France (Hank Alme – almehj “of” alumni.rice.edu): F Portugal Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean
(*Ordered to Move*).
Germany (Harley Jordan – harleyj “of” alum.mit.edu): F Baltic Sea - Livonia (*Bounce*),
A Berlin Supports A Silesia, A Burgundy Hold, A Kiel Supports A Munich, A Munich Hold,
A Prussia Supports A Silesia, A Silesia Hold.
Italy (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” gmail.com): A Bulgaria Hold,
F Gascony Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Brest (*Cut*), F Gulf of Lyon - Western Mediterranean,
A Marseilles - Burgundy (*Fails*), F Mid-Atlantic Ocean – Brest, A Spain Supports F Gascony,
F Western Mediterranean - North Africa.
Russia (John Biehl – jerbil “of” shaw.ca): A Armenia – Sevastopol, A Constantinople - Bulgaria (*Fails*),
F Ionian Sea - Aegean Sea, A Moscow - Livonia (*Bounce*), A Ukraine Supports A Warsaw,
A Warsaw Supports A Galicia - Silesia (*Void*).
Note John Biehl’s new email address
A/E/G/I/R Draw Fails
Fall 1907 Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
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 1 Categories
1. A hockey team.
2. A bank.
3. A movie featuring Henry Fonda.
4. An unusual pet.
5. An event where many people take photographs.
Hank Alme gets the high score, missing the highest possible score by only one point!
Selected Comments By Category:
Hockey Team – Marc Ellinger “Too many to choose from (maybe Team USA would have been better?)” Michael Moulton “Penguins probably won’t be the most popular but I’m picking them anyway.” Per Westling “Detriot Red Wings are kind of a favorite around here, as they have many Swedish players, like Franzén and Zetterberg. Training games have started and when ES goes to print I will have been to 3 games this season.”
Fonda – Marc Ellinger “I really thought about On Golden Pond (which is a TERRIBLE movie, but was popular). In the end, I had to go with a real classic.” Michael Moulton “I expect On Golden Pond to be a popular answer as well.” Dane Maslen “I'm tempted by "On Golden Pond" for number 3, given that he won an Oscar for it, but I'll stick with "12 Angry Men" as it's certainly better known to me. My favorite of his films is "Fail Safe" but I'm confident it won't get a mention.” Brad Wilson “There are far better Fonda movies, such as his playing a vicious killer in "Once Upon a Time in the West," but this seems the natural pick.”
Pet – Marc Ellinger “What is unusual now? Snakes are normal anymore.” Robin ap Cynan “I liked this one too:
the Rothschild giraffes who share a family dinner table .
General Comments: Don Williams on last game – “I’d like to thank the Academy, my producers, my sponsors, my twelve-step group, my … what? Oh … it’s not that kind of award? Well, thanks to Doug for the DVD of that great movie, Adaptations.”
In many ways, the setting is just a typical family breakfast. Young children and their mother enjoy croissants and orange juice while sitting around a table together. But things become a little different when you notice a giraffe poking its head through the window to join them for a drink and a bite to eat. In fact, the Carr-Hartley family has the unusual distinction of sharing their home with eight Rothschild giraffes, some of the rarest on the planet. In the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's tallest animals are free to roam their 140-acre estate and are regular visitors at their English-style manor built in the colonial era. Every day shortly before 9am, the mammal beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats. Owners Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley literally share their dining table with them. They know all of the giraffes by name: 13-year-old Lynne is the leader of the herd and can be very persistent about getting treats.
Round 2 Categories – Deadline is September 28th at 7:00am my time
1. A movie with Cameron Diaz.
2. A Bob Dylan song.
3. An unreliable make of car.
4. A type of moth or butterfly.
5. A planet.
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. The only legal “research” is watching movies to try and locate quotes.” 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.
#1. We are very fortunate to have such snowy ground here. It is often the parchment on which the criminal unwittingly writes his autograph. The Name of the Rose, Correct - JB. Murder on the Orient Express – RD. Gorky Park – ME. Fargo – PR.
#2. It's the wail of the banshee, the same as I heard the night Katie's mother was taken! Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Correct – RD, PR
#3. Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die. Now get off your butts. The Longest Day, Correct – JM, RD, JB. Saving Private Ryan – ME, PR, AY
#4. How about 5,000 words on why you should stay the fuck out of my house! Finding Forrester, Correct – RD, PR, JB
#5. Mom! Dad! It's evil! Don't touch it! Time Bandits, Correct – JM, JB. Meteor – RD. Chuckie – ME.
#6. Now, on the matter of motive, we ask you: Why did you conceive, plan and execute this dastardly and scandalous crime? The Great Train Robbery, Correct – JM, RD, JB
#7. We're going to teach you soldiering, the world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men. The Man Who Would Be King, Correct – JM, RD, JB. The Dirty Dozen – PR. Full Metal Jacket – AY.
#8. World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they're Naploeon. Or God. Dr. No, Correct – JM, RD, ME, JB. Dr. Strangelove – AY.
#9. What you taught me was that I was less important to you than people who had been dead for five hundred years in another country. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade , Correct – JM, RD, ME, PR
#10. I'm not an agent, I just write books for the CIA. The Hunt for Red October, Correct – JM, RD, PR, JB, AY. Marathon Man – ME.
Bonus: What do all these films have in common? Sean Connery Appears in All of Them, Correct – JM, RD, PR, JB
Scores: BW – Brendan Whyte (0 + 2 = 2), DM – Dane Maslen (0 + 6 = 6), PV - Pat Vogelsang (0 + 55 = 55), RD – Rick Desper (9 + 21 = 30), PR – Paraic Reddington (5 + 21 = 26), AL – Andy Lischett (0 + 15 = 15), AY – Andy York (1 + 4 = 5), JB – Jim-Bob Burgess (9 + 64 = 73), JM – Jack McHugh (8 + 33 = 41), DW – Don Williams (0 + 9 = 9), KW – Kevin Wilson (0 + 15 = 15), MH – Melinda Holley (0 + 0 = 0), RL – Robert Lesco (0 + 4 = 4), ME – Marc Ellinger (2 + 0 = 2).
Round Ten – Final Round
#1. Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows. Some pilots get picked and become television programs. Some don't, become nothing. She starred in one of the ones that became nothing.
#2. I have to go to a funeral, Lee. Unless I missed it because you forgot to tell me that my mother is dead!
#3. While you were still learning how to spell your name, I was being trained to conquer galaxies!
#4. That was "Rio Bravo." Robert Mitchum played the drunk in "El Dorado." Dean Martin played the drunk in "Rio Bravo." Basically, it was the same part. Now John Wayne, he did the same in both. He played John Wayne.
#5. That's a terrible scream. Jack, what cat did you have to strangle to get that?
#6. And the first sin was intercourse! Mama, I was so scared. I thought I was dying. And the girls, they all laughed at me and threw things at me, Mama.
#7. I knew you'd piss on it. Go on, just piss on it alright. A raise says like you're good, you know? You know how many times someone told me I was good in my life? Two! Twice!
#8. Well, how would you like that? How about alphabetical? Aardvark, baboon, caribou, dolphin, eohippus, fox, gorilla, hyena, ibex, jackal, kangaroo, lion, marmoset, Newfoundland, ocelot, panda, rat, sloth, tiger, unicorn, varmint, whale, yak, zebra.
#9. I wish I had a guardian angel to tell me what to do. You know, like Debbie Reynolds had in "Tammy." What do you think?
#10. My, my full name is Buford Uon Davis, but nobody calls me Buford 'cept my Grandmother, and she's half Indian. My initials are B.U.D., it spells Bud.
Bonus: What do all these films have in common?
Deadline for your answers to Round 10: September 28th at 7:00am my time
Remember, after this round a new contest will start. In the new quote contest, you will not receive points for every correct answer; instead, the player(s) with the most correct answers will receive ONE point for winning that particular round. I think this will make the game more interesting. Also, I am probably going to begin including some multiple character quotes (a few lines of conversation) when that’s the quote I’d rather use.
General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine: September 28th, 2010 at 7:00am my time. See You Then!