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 – “Hey! Let’s go out dancing! You want to go out to Montauk with me?” (Clementine in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)
Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine that is brave enough to allow Richard Walkerdine to say whatever he wants, whenever he wants. True, he submits material to Diplomacy World too, but we all know this is the place where his TRUE lunacy is revealed. You have been warned!
I’m sorry to say that this is the second issue in a row without any deeper personal writing from me. I do have a column about a show I went to, and about the Texas Rangers, but nothing personal or revealing. The reasons seem to be two-fold; first, I’ve been overworked and overtired the last two months, which drains my energy and enthusiasm; and second, my inspiration is also missing. In fact, I couldn’t think of a topic I felt like writing about, even if I’d found the time and energy. I need to go back to my “story list” and see what stories I haven’t told everybody yet. Oh well.
In the meantime….in zine news, we have a gamestart (and Spring 1901 results) for a new Gunboat game, and the current Diplomacy opening is nearly full. I’m going to offer a variant next issue; I simply haven’t decided which one. Any requests? We’ve got columns from Paul Milewski, Richard Walkerdine, and Jack McHugh. Andy York is still absent, but not MIA as he sent a letter and ALWAYS keeps me up-to-date on whether a column is likely. Besides, he’s a Ranger fan, saw them play in person in the playoffs, and has tickets to Game 4 of the World Series. So I have to forgive him! Besides that material, we have the usual games, Hypothetical Questions, Movie Quote Contest (which I hope more of you give a try next issue; remember, the scoring system makes it easier to catch up now), and our latest “You Don’t Know Me” interview (which isn’t complete as I write this, but if I don’t get the final piece I’ll just go with what I have on hand).
There really isn’t that much else for me to say. If something comes up in the next 36 hours I’ll mention it, otherwise, see you next month. And how about you kick it up a notch and participate a bit more?
Oh, and please note that since the last Tuesday is also the last day of the month in November, the zine deadline will be the day before – a Monday – this time around.
The Month’s Playlist: 700 Miles – Mary Lee’s Corvette; Dulcinea – Toad the Wet Sprocket; Frampton Comes Alive – Peter Frampton; Snapshots – Antje Duvekot; Soundtrack Volume 2 – Trainspotting.
My Trip to Tulsa
Ever since I stumbled across Antje Duvekot’s incredible CD “The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer” I have been keeping a close eye on her web site to see if she would ever make her way to Texas for a show. I didn’t really expect her to come to Dallas; when it comes to music, Dallas is a real tough town. If it isn’t country music, classic rock, or a current headliner there isn’t much interest. If you’re an independent artist finding a place to play isn’t the hardest part…getting anyone to hear about the show is the biggest issue. If you’re not a local product (The Old 97’s, Bowling for Soup) or a cover band you’ll be generally ignored. Acts with decades of music like Elvis Costello or Joe Jackson (two shows I’ve seen since I moved here) can find a suitable location and fill it, but they are the exception rather than the rule. If and when Antje does come to Texas, I’d expect her in Austin (or maybe some Fort Worth location…or even Denton) instead of somewhere in Dallas proper. But I’m not holding my breath.
In August I realized that Antje was going to do two shows in Oklahoma, seemingly a one-shot swing there from her home base of Boston. There was a Sunday show in Norman on Sunday the 24th, and a “house concert” in Tulsa on Saturday the 23rd. I realized that if I was going to see Antje anytime in the near future, the Tulsa show was my only shot. Details on the show itself were sketchy; a location of the Topeca Coffee House in Tulsa’s Mayo Hotel was given, but all the contact info referred to House Concerts Unlimited, which I learned later is a one-man shop which tries to arrange small-venue, intimate folk music shows for artists all over the success meter. On one hand, that gives the whole planning process for an out-of-town traveler like myself an air of insecurity…while on the other hand it means you get an up-close, personal evening with the artist. I decided a trip to Tulsa would be a well-deserved birthday present to myself. I’ve become rather obsessed with Antje’s music, and this could be my only chance to see her live.
Heather also enjoys her CD’s, but she declined the invitation to join me. Mainly, she didn’t want to board Kayza so soon after we’d adopted her. She was also looking forward to the idea of a “Heather only” Saturday, where she could watch movies and shows that I dislike, sit in her housedress without feeling guilty, and live the life of a single independent woman . She gave me a number of lectures about “keeping it in my pants,” and teasing me about my “crush” on Antje Duvekot. But having me drive to Tulsa and back, staying overnight, and attending the show by myself were all fine with her.
I’d already booked a room at the Mayo when the location for the show was suddenly changed to a place called Café Cubana, which was about two miles away from the hotel. I communicated with the organizer, who explained that this location was larger and had a much better parking situation. No matter; it just meant I would take a cab there and back. I didn’t want to try and find my way at night, and anyway I planned on bringing along a nice bottle of Riesling to sip during the show (the venue serves no alcohol). Then an opening act was added to the bill, one I had never heard of: 3 Penny Acre. I was really looking forward to the whole thing, although I would have preferred if Heather joined me. It wasn’t like I’d get lucky behind her back or anything!
I rented a car for the weekend using one of Enterprise’s weekend specials. My car was probably fine for the drive, but it’s getting old, and the alignment needs work. Most importantly, it has no cruise control. If you’ve ever driven in Oklahoma, you know the miles of nearly-empty highway you cover, usually with a 70 MPH speed limit. Cruise control can make a long drive a LOT easier....even though Tulsa is only about 270 miles away. I used to drive much longer distances for Amerifleet, but since I’ve returned home the only long drive I’ve done were our two trips to Killeen (180 miles each way) to first meet, and then to pick up and adopt, Kayza. Those drives may have been longer, but I had Heather in the car to keep my company. This would be a solo journey. So I wanted to make it as simple as possible.
Saturday morning I left about as I planned, close to noon. I wanted to get to the hotel by 5pm, which would give me time to eat something and get a cab to the location before doors opened at 7pm. I didn’t know how much of a crowd there might be, but since I was driving all the way from Dallas I wanted to make sure I had a seat near the front. I don’t mind waiting in line, or getting there early (Heather hates how early I generally have us arrive at the movies). I just want to get the best seat I can, and I’ll trade time for results when necessary.
The route is pretty simple, and traffic is almost always light once you get north of the Dallas metroplex. However, as soon as I got to that point, a new problem arrived: pouring rain, a real Texas cloudburst, as far as the eye could see. Visibility was rather poor, and the roads were covered with water immediately. Worse, the roads were undergoing various levels of construction, so large puddles or poor run-off lay hidden for the unprepared. Traffic barely slowed down, even in the worst of the rain, and there were two occasions where I felt the car begin to hydroplane. The first only lasted about two seconds, sliding me to the left a foot or so. The second hydroplane was enough to give me sudden chest pains, as I found myself jolted from the right lane to the left without warning. As luck would have it, there was no vehicle within ten car lengths of me in either lane, so as I regained control almost immediately, the danger quickly passed. In fact, I realized that the left lane was in better shape, and was collecting less water. Soon after, the rain slowed to a steady patter, and the danger seemed to have passed. Still, it took quite a few miles before I could relax. Sliding on ice when I lived up north was scary, but I found this experience more terrifying. I can’t explain why…maybe I have more to live for now? Or maybe it was because I declined the insurance coverage from the rental company. Who knows?
While the rain continued, the rest of the drive was rather uneventful, and I arrived at the Mayo around 430pm. I checked in, called Heather to let her know I was safe, and prepared for the evening. I put my bottle of Riesling in the fridge to chill for a few minutes, changed my clothes, and took a walk around the hotel. The rooms aren’t anything amazing – just clean and with useful amenities like a closet safe, microwave, and the aforementioned fridge, but the hotel lobby has a very luxurious, old-style feel to it.
There was some sort of event beginning in the ballroom on the lobby level, so I peeked in there. The high ceiling and large chandeliers lent a very nice effect to the room as a whole. I saw a woman in a wedding gown somewhere, so I guessed that this was probably a popular hotel in the Tulsa area for fancy events, or at least for out of town wedding guests to relax and prepare for the big day. A sign referred to another ballroom on the 16th floor, where weddings and other more private gatherings likely took place.
The staff was helpful and called a cab for me, and I was off, arriving near the venue at about 6pm. I walked around 15th street for a few minutes; it was s typical “restaurant row” area with small eateries and some chain restaurants. With my usual wonderful sense of direction, I walked the wrong direction for two blocks before I realized I was heading away from Café Cubana. A quick U-turn and a few minutes later, I could see 3 Penny Acre doing a sound check by the windows facing the street. It was a small café, with some round tables up front, and softer couches or chairs further back. I could certainly see that this would provide an intimate setting. Next door was a Jason’s Deli, so I went and grabbed a sandwich so I could make sure I had some real food before I popped the cork. I knew the café sold coffee beverages and had pastries, but no “real” food. The chocolate croissant was delicious though, and a strong beverage prepared me for the entertainment to come!
I was allowed to come in and take a seat around 630pm, even though the doors didn’t “officially” open until 7pm. So now I had my wine, by snack, my seat, and an old paperback to occupy my time until the music started. But this was when I began to get anxious…I heard members of 3 Penny Acre mention to a friend that “the other lady” [Antje Duvekot] was flying in and had been delayed by the weather. I could already see the “just my luck” scenario forming: I’d driven 275 miles to see an artist who wasn’t going to make the show after all. Still, I was there, and there was nothing to do but try and enjoy myself.
3 Penny Acre were supposed to open, and at 745pm they were about to begin when in walked Antje Duvekot at last. In such a small place I could easily overhear the conversation. Her connection had been delayed, and now her luggage had been lost. She had her guitar, but was stuck wearing her “airplane clothes” and had no merchandise to sell (I was hoping to get a shirt or two). You could see how tired and frustrated Antje was, but she must be a really sweet person, because I am being honest when I say she had nothing but smiles for everyone around her. Despite these inconveniences, she was prepared to go on with the show. However, a quick snort of nose spray revealed what I suspected when she first came through the door: Antje was sick too, with a cold or the flu or a combination of both. The poor woman had flown down from Boston anyway. I went from being anxious to feeling very sympathetic, and a bit undeserving. Because of how poorly she felt, 3 Penny Acre gracefully let Antje go on first so she could go get some rest, or find her luggage, or both.
As the opening act, Antje played for less time than I had hoped, but even delirious from cold medicine and exhausted from travelling, there was not a moment of her set which I did not enjoy. She peppered the set with some stories about the various songs, which were always good for a laugh. Her voice was flawless, and her guitar playing and live presence was much stronger than it was on her CD “Little Peppermints” (much of which is collected on “Snapshots” along with her first CD, both of which were recorded live). As her talents as a songwriter have grown, so have her abilities as a performer. The set list was as follows:
Sleepy Sea of Indigo and Blue
Streets of Soho
Augen, Ohren und Herz
The only songs which I was unfamiliar with were brand new: Sweet Spot (a nice enough, positive song about reaching a happy place in life), and Sleepy Sea of Indigo and Blue. The latter was a love song, which she’d written now that she’s been in a successful relationship for more than three years. I found it very touching and moving; Antje has a way of surrounding you with her lyrics, as the music itself sits in the center. I couldn’t help but think of Heather while I listened to that song for the first time, and I admit to getting a bit teary-eyed and using my handkerchief. I don’t know if anybody else did, but since I am not afraid to cry in public (and since I was alone at my table and had three glasses of wine in me) I saw no reason to hold my emotions inside. I doubt anybody noticed though.
Long Way and Merry-Go-Round are songs Antje has performed for years, but which she recorded new studio versions of for the Near Demise CD. I much prefer these new versions, as they are not only wonderfully produced but also allow Antje to show how she’s grown as an artist. Vertigo (sort of the “theme song” of that CD) and Augen, Ohren und Herz (a song from Antje’s childhood) also appear on “Near Demise” as original recordings.
I felt that Antje’s rendition of Streets of Soho was the best example of how much improved the performances of these songs have become. On “Little Peppermints” the song feels slightly disjointed and the vocals uneasy. Now they are fluid, and the song reveals itself to be that much better because of it. The other highlight of Antje’s set was Dandelion, both because of the song itself and because of the story she put behind it. It was written about a “guy I had a crush on, who didn’t have a crush on me.” Apparently he was a sort of superficial person, more interested in having the right label on his clothes (and his woman’s) than in what was inside. Antje was rather open about how she is still a bit bitter after however many years it has been. “I was more of an outdoors girl, who could have protected him from spiders if we went camping….screw him, I hope he’s being eaten by spiders.”
The set ended too soon, but despite her illness, the effects of her cold medication, and everything else, it was a tremendous pleasure to see Antje Duvekot live. I hope I get another chance; she didn’t even get to play my favorites from “Near Demise” such as Dublin Boys, Lighthouse, and Scream. Maybe next time?
The real surprise of the evening for me was how much I loved 3 Penny Acre. The band, who took their name from the price of the Louisiana Purchase, is a trio: husband and wife team Bryan Hembree (guitar and vocals) and Bernice Campbell Hembree (bass), along with Bayard Blain (guitar, mandolin). Bayard also handcrafts all of his instruments; they had a tremendous sound to them, without a doubt.
I first heard 3 Penny Acre during their sound check, and I simply sat quietly and absorbed the beautiful harmonies that Bernice and Bayard weave with their voices (with occasional help from Bryan). I’d tried a sample of two or three tracks online when I saw they’d be at the show, and either I chose the wrong tracks or I wasn’t in the right mood, because I hadn’t been that impressed. Live, though, these three have a magical energy, carrying you from one musical style to another. Bayard and Bernice take turns on lead vocals, and their voices seem to be the precisely appropriate accompaniment for each other’s. Bryan sang lead on a new song he’d recently written about the torching of Tulsa’s affluent black neighborhood in 1921, which I knew nothing about. Now I’m interested to read up on the topic. Bryan grew up near Tulsa, so it was a moment in history he had known about for many years.
Their set ran between folk, folkish country, and even a bluegrass tune thrown in for good measure. All three members are quite adept musicians, and clearly they’ve played together long enough that the live performance is tight and grabs your attention. I know 3 Penny Acre is going to be in Dallas in March, so I plan to go and see them again. Since I plan on purchasing their CD’s in the next week or two, I will be able to determine what – if any – difference there is in my enjoyment between the live experience and the recorded CD. I don’t know how much mixing they did, but from what I saw and heard, they’d be perfect just setting up the mikes at home and doing their tracks live, as is. Their next CD is going to be traditional English and Irish music, a complete departure from the Americana feel of “Highway 71” (their newest CD). The sample tune they did was quite stirring in its own right.
I highly recommend you check out the music of 3 Penny Acre, as well as Antje Duvekot. Discovering these independent gems, outside of the tired paths of current corporate music, is a real joy.
The Texas Rangers? You’re Kidding, Right?
I have been a long suffering Rangers fan. In a few days, they will make their first ever World Series appearance. This is after their first ever American League Championship Series appearance. And that was after their first ever victory in the American League Division Series. In fact, until this month, the Texas Rangers were the only current franchise in any of the major American sports not to have won a single playoff series in their team’s history.
The Rangers have always been frustrating and the poster child of futility. Only three times in their 50 year history (a few years as the Washington Senators, and then moving to Texas becoming the Rangers) have they even reached the playoffs. The first time, they won their first ever playoff game, and then proceeded to lose the next three to the Yankees. That was in 1996. In 1997, they played the Yankees again, and lost three in a row. 1999? Same thing.
You have to have personally followed the team just to understand how futile this team’s efforts have been. Who else has a book written about them entitled “Seasons in Hell”? Year after year, the Rangers found new ways to lose. Their efforts to find an “ace” pitcher seemed to inevitably result in a huge contract but no results (see Chan Ho Park for a perfect example). They signed Alex Rodriguez to the biggest contract in baseball history (at the time), and then traded him only four years later, forced to eat a nice chunk of the contract along the way. As a matter of fact, this year is the LAST year the Rangers are paying A-Rod for not playing for them.
Yet the Rangers are going to the World Series. This year, of all years, was the least likely for that to happen. Let’s just take a quick look at some of the obstacles they’ve faced:
The sale of the team from Tom Hicks to a group led by Nolan Ryan was supposed to have been completed by Spring Training. When that rolled around, no progress had been made.
The first headline news out of the Rangers this year was coach Ron Washington’s admission that he had tested positive for cocaine. I don’t think a sitting manager for any Major League team has EVER tested positive for drugs, let alone for cocaine. It was a miracle that he wasn’t fired on the spot.
Among the players on the rooster were Vladimir Guererro, coming off the worst season of his career. Almost all knowledgeable scouts said his career was over. Then we had Josh Hamilton, who after an amazing 2008 has seen a 2009 where he hit about .250 with 10 home runs, and lots of injuries. The idea that Hamilton might be a superstar was quickly subsiding.
The team had no real catcher, and no real first baseman. Two players were battling for each spot, and none of the four were impressing anybody.
The Rangers did have hope for their starting pitching. At the front of the rotation they had Scott Feldman, who won 17 games for them in 2009, and Rich Harden, a signing in the off-season. But behind them? There was Colby Lewis, a retreat who started with the organization, bounced around the Major Leagues with little success, and had spent the last two years pitching in Japan. Then there was CJ Wilson, who had never started in his career; he’d been the set-up man in the bullpen the year before, and had pushed the team all spring to give him a chance to start. The fifth spot was up in the air, with plenty of candidates but none particularly appealing.
So what happened? Well, Scott Feldman showed quickly that he was not going to be anything like the year before. Rich Harden couldn’t seem to make it past the fourth inning. The bullpen was already being overworked, which every year led to the “August meltdown” all Rangers fans had grown to accept. By May, both starting catchers had been demoted to the minors. Slugger Nelson Cruz was on the disabled list for the first of three times, while Ian Kinsler also missed the early part of the season. First base was producing no offense. Things couldn’t get much worse.
…until then the team declared bankruptcy, which meant the question of ownership would become even more complicated! This would eventually lead to an open bid auction between Nolan Ryan’s group and Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.
The only thing the Rangers had going for them was how poorly the rest of the division was doing. In fact, the Seattle Mariners had fallen so hard and so fast that they started dumping salary by trading players to other teams. Their big prize pitcher, Cliff Lee, was about to go to the hated Yankees and their already bloated payroll.
But then, for the first time, the baseball light shone on the Rangers. There was some sort of disagreement about who the Yankees were willing to give up, and talks stalled. In moved the Rangers, and without warning a bankrupt team with a history of misery had their ace pitcher. At the same time, both Colby Lewis and CJ Wilson had proven to be terrific pitchers (although Colby was snake-bitten by horrendous run support all year long). Vlad and Josh were hitting. The Rangers were actually sing SPEED on the base paths. Late acquisitions like Benji Molina were giving the team a major boost. And everybody seemed to be having fun. This team actually enjoyed playing with each other.
You all know the way things have played out. Despite having lost EVERY SINGLE GAME during the regular season in Minnesota, Tampa, and New York, the Rangers won the first two playoff series, became American League champions, and are not set to battle the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. All the old stigmas, like losing to the Yankees and fading in August, have faded.
Whether we win or lose, it has been a once-in-a-lifetime season for the Ranger fan. And if things work out? Well, with the right author, the story could be written as one of the most dramatic and unlikely sports stories in history…how the Texas Rangers, the punching bag of the Major Leagues for 50 years, exorcised their demons and won the World Series.
Maybe Mark Shropshire, who wrote “Seasons in Hell,” is ready for a sequel?
Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: #1 – You sell cars and stand to make a healthy commission from a young man who wants to buy an expensive sports model. The payments will take most of his salary. Do you discourage him from spending so much? #2 – You discover that your mate is infertile. You really want children of your own. Do you leave your mate?
Melinda Holley - #1 – Yes. While the sale is important, if it will cost more than the customer can realistically afford to pay, he will default. As a manager, I'd take a serious look at not only the sales figures but are these good sales or are they sales that will be defaulted on? If its the latter, it will negatively affect the ability of my business to obtain credit/financing terms from lenders. As an employee, I would expect my manager to do just that. Too many bad sales & I'm out of a job.
#2 - Because I've never wanted kids, this type of question is hard to answer. My immediate answer is no. If my mate IS my mate for life (hmm...which may be why I've never married), then he's the most important person to me. Plus, I've never seen adopted children as being something 'less' than biological children. In fact, I have a problem with people who see such a distinction. If my mate is infertile, it honestly is no big deal to me. If children are important to my mate and he's infertile, then we look into adoption.
Andy York - #1 - In my (minimal) experience, the salesman doesn't worry about the financing and ability of the person to pay - the financial folks handle that. So, this probably wouldn't happen.
In the unlikely event it did, and I was a car salesman (not a job I'd consider), I'd likely point the situation out, mentioning some options (and, depending on the circumstances, bring up the consequences of failing to make his payments), but the decision is his.
#2 - No, there are other options (surrogacy, adoption, etc) if having a child is that important. However, this should have come up prior to getting married and the decision made at the point, not post-marriage (having to leave "your mate").
Robin ap Cynan - #1 - No.
#2 – Yes.
[[Don’t be so longwinded in your answers!]]
Phil Murphy - #1 – Discourage, no.
After all, it's his choice. If he can afford it. I would, however most likely raise the issue of how he intends to cover the payments before signing any
#2 –Absolutely not! There are other options available (adoption, IVF, surrogate fathers/mothers etc.).
Seeing as I'd choose a mate I loved, why would I turn around and discard that person for something like that? Would I be disappointed? Definitely. But hey, we don't always get what we want. I would stay because, hopefully, fertility wasn't the only reason I got together with that person.
Jack McHugh - #1 - No. I'm a
libertarian and it is his money, if he wants to spend it on a car who am I to
#2 - That's a tough one for me because, although I have a daughter, I was never big on having children. I would say no, since it is a medical condition that your mate can't help. I might answer different if it was by my mate's choice.
Heather Taylor - #1 – As a car salesman, no I would not. But I would never be a car salesman, because they are slimy bastards.
#2 – No. Maybe there is something else we can do, like artificial insemination. There are alternatives. Unless he is a car salesman; then yes I would leave him, because he is a slimy bastard.
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 – You are at a dinner party and hear a distinct CRACK as a corpulent guest settles into an antique chair. The hostess is in the kitchen. Will you tell her what happened later? #2 – As a reporter, you agree to interview a prominent politician “off the record.” He says something vital to the public welfare. Do you report it?
The Last Exorcism - When I saw the trailer for The Last Exorcism, I wasn’t really given enough information to discern the full plot. But the general idea seemed simple enough: a documentary crew films an exorcism, and finds more than they bargained for, ala The Blair Witch Project. I wasn’t enthralled with that prospect, but one recent Sunday it was the best option available.
Actually, the storyline in The Last Exorcism is a bit more interesting than I thought. Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) has been a preacher since he was ten years old. He is a master at capturing the audience, combining his command of preaching with the showmanship of some magic tricks twisted to teach lessons about Jesus. He even bets one of the documentary crew (one cameraman and one interviewer/producer) that he can throw in his mother’s banana bread recipe and the congregation will never notice. He does, and they don’t.
The problem for Cotton is that he isn’t even sure he believes in God anymore, and he is certain he has lost any belief in organized religion; it’s all show, and all for money. In particular, he is now concerned about the practice of Christian exorcism. “The Catholics get all the press, because they had the movie” he quips. But a recent newspaper article detailing the death of a young boy during an exorcism has pushed his conscience over the edge. And this is the purpose of the documentary crew: Cotton is prepared to have them join him on one last exorcism, so he can reveal all the tricks of the trade, and what a complete fraud it is. In this way, he hopes, no other child will have to suffer the fate of the boy in the paper.
At random, he selects one letter asking for help, and travels with the crew to their rural Louisiana town. There he meets Louis, the father who believes his teenage daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) is possessed by a demon, and has been slaughtering his livestock at night (with no memory of it the next day). Nell is sweet and a believer, and while she doesn’t remember doing the acts she is accused of, all evidence seems to point to her; whether it is demonic possession or a simple case of violent sleepwalking is answered by Louis and his fundamentalist beliefs. Nell’s brother Caleb, on the other hand, considers his father a dangerous drunk (since Mom died) and his sister an innocent victim.
Cotton and the crew perform an exorcism, complete with his various parlor tricks and gimmicks. But, as you might expect, the story does not end there. And soon it becomes a battle between Cotton and his unbeliever attitude – putting science over religion – and Louis and his deep fundamentalist beliefs.
There are some very funny moments, a few scary ones, and plenty of creepy ones in The Last Exorcism. The very end of the film leaves a bit to be desired, but overall that doesn’t diminish the enjoyment of the ride. This isn’t a great film, but it’s a fun one, and a nice change from the slasher and soft-porn horror films which are much more prevalent today.
Paranormal Activity 2 – If you saw, and somewhat enjoyed, the first Paranormal Activity, you’ll like this one too. If you didn’t like it, there’s no point it seeing PA2; in many ways it is the same movie. If you never saw PA1, see it on DVD first and then decide. But I thought PA1 was decent, and I feel the same about PA2. If nothing else, it’s tense, a bit scary, and goes by fast (smartly keeping a 91 minute running time).
The plot runs along similar lines to the first. A family (husband and wife, but a bit older this time), the husband’s teenage daughter from his first marriage, their newborn baby boy, and their dog live in a modern suburban home. After a strange break-in where the house is ransacked but nothing is taken (except one necklace with sentimental value), the husband has an alarm system and cameras installed throughout the house, recording to a DVR system. Then, as strange occurrences begin to happen each evening, the family is able to validate them through the use of the DVR.
Perhaps because the family is larger, there is a bit more tension this time around. The father refuses to entertain the idea of ghosts or the supernatural as a cause for any of the disturbances, and goes so far as to fire their nanny when she tries to cleanse the house through sage burning. The wife does believe, especially as she and her sister had some sort of frightening experiences as children. The teenage daughter thinks it would “cool” if the house was haunted…she holds out a bit of hope when the disturbances are mild that it might be her mother (who we now learn has passed away). The infant, who grows into a toddler, appears to see the forces at work, sometimes laughing at them, and other times crying in fear. The dog also reacts, barking and growling at any presence.
As you expect, the events escalate. I can’t go into the plot line in any detail, except to say that the couple from the original Paranormal Activity make an appearance in this film too, and I found it rather creative the way the films were tied together. The suspense is all the same as the first film: you are shown the scene, and you know something is going to happen…you just don’t know what.
In all, Paranormal Activity 2 is a dopey and fun movie. It doesn’t need a ton of blood and chainsaws to make the audience jump (and if you’re with a date, be prepared to have your hand squeezed every now and then). If nothing else, it is a good start to the Halloween horror films which are making their way to a theater near you. Give it a shot.
Seen on DVD – The Bridge on the River Kwai (A-, Sir Alec Guiness deserved his Oscar, and the film continues to hold up amazingly well). The Ninth Gate (C+. I remember enjoying this more the first time I saw it. Perhaps knowing the outcome diminished that for me, and overall it seemed to drag. Still it has its moments). Notes on a Scandal (B+, while the plot was somewhat obvious – or maybe I’d heard too much about it – the performances were very good. Bill Nighy’s strong performance gets somewhat overlooked because of the leading ladies). The Men Who Stare at Goats (C+. Clooney did well, balancing between manic and understated. But as much as I love his work, Ewen McGregor was not the right choice for his role).
The Eternal Sunshine Interview
This month’s initial candidate, and yes another High School classmate of mine, is Jennifer Siegel. She’s smarter than you, so shut up and pay attention!
What is your name: Jennifer Siegel
What is your astrological sign: um...Sagitarius, I think
How old are you (exact or approximate): 41
What is your earliest childhood memory: I have two. I'm not quite sure which came first. I remember my mother dragging us in off the beach in Long Beach Island to watch Nixon get into the helicopter and fly away from the White House forever and ever. (It was a big party.) And I remember play being at the Garden when they stopped during a Knicks game to sweep the floor for Earl the Pearl's pearl.
Describe your immediate family (present day): My immediate family is unconventional. I consider a few of my closest friends my immediate family.
What do you do for a living: I am a professor of European Military and Diplomatic History at The Ohio State University. I have a research focus on 19th and 20th century Anglo-Russo-French relations, and teach courses on international relations, intelligence history, the history of oil, colonial warfare, etc.
Where were you born: Morristown, NJ
What did you want to be when you were growing up: The first woman Jewish president of the United States. Or so they tell me. Oh well. I guess it's still not too late.
Douglas Kent - I have found your job fascinating ever since I learned what you do for a living. And many of the readers here would as well, especially as most of them are fans of Allan Calhamer's Diplomacy game. What led you in that direction as a career (both a professor, and that area of expertise)?
Jennifer Siegel - My interest in diplomatic history is a result of a number of factors. It never occurred to me to be interested in anything else. I have always been interested in looking at events in an international context, a result of the exposure my parents gave us to the wider world. Furthermore, when I went off to Yale as an undergraduate (see question three), one of the great strengths of the history department was its emphasis on diplomatic and imperial history. As for the focus of my research, I had long been interested in both British and Russian imperial history, and decided to write my senior essay (Yale has a thesis requirement for all senior history majors) on some aspect of Russian history. My advisor, Firuz Kazemzadeh, supported that, but suggested that, as I had no Russian language skills, I should craft a topic that would allow me to examine an aspect of Russian history using sources “in a language I could read.” His suggestion was that I look at the influence of Russia’s advance towards India on Britain’s decision to enter into the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902. And I never looked back. I went to graduate school—back to Yale, as it really had the strongest program in diplomatic history and I would be working with almost entirely different faculty than I had worked as an undergraduate—to pursue Anglo-Russian relations in Central Asia, a topic of which my advisor, Paul Kennedy, was entirely supportive. But, I learned Russian first.
On a less scholarly note, I also think that my interest in Europe, and Britain in particular, was most certainly nurtured by my exposure to PBS as a child. We were ardent watchers of Masterpiece Theatre, and all things BBC that were available. It was an excellent introduction to the world beyond the New Jersey shoreline.
Douglas Kent - How many languages can you read, or speak (not sure if it is different)? Which ones?
Jennifer Siegel - In addition to English, I speak Russian and French, and read German.
Douglas Kent - Let's take a moment to go over your academic history. After High School (I'm assuming you graduated from somewhere? Or did you go get a GED?) how did that all work?
Jennifer Siegel - This is somewhat covered in question one. But,
here is an edited version of my academic and professional history, from my c.v.:
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Ph.D., History, December 1998; M.Phil., May 1994; M.A., May 1993.
Thesis: “Peaceful Penetration Under Arms”: Anglo-Russian Relations in Central Asia, 1907-1914.
B.A., Cum Laude, History, May 1990.
Academic Awards, Prizes, and Honors:
Smith Richardson Foundation Junior Faculty Research Grant, 2006
Virginia Hull Research Award, 2005
AAASS 2003 Barbara Jelavich Book Prize
Mershon Center Faculty Grant, The Ohio State University, 2004, 2005, 2006
Annenberg Travel Grant, University of Pennsylvania, 2002
Yale International Security Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1999-2000
Olin Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1998-9
Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, 1996-7
MacArthur Foundation Research Grant, 1994-5
Smith Richardson Foundation Research Grants, 1994-5, 1996
Bradley Foundation Dissertation Research Grants, 1994-5
Smith Richardson Foundation Summer Grant for Language Training, 1993
FLAS Fellowship for the Study of Russian, 1992-3
MacArthur Foundation Research Apprenticeship, 1992
The Ohio State University
Assistant Professor (2003-7)
Associate Professor (2007- )
Teaching lectures and seminars on nineteenth and twentieth century international history, modern Britain, imperialism, intelligence and military history. Directing graduate students. Advising honors theses and history majors.
University of Pennsylvania
Taught lectures and seminars on nineteenth and twentieth century international history, modern Britain, Imperial Russia, and oil diplomacy. Directed graduate tutorials. Advised honors theses and history majors.
Assistant Professor (2000-1)
Taught combined undergraduate and graduate lectures and seminars on twentieth century international relations, modern Britain, and Imperial Russia.
Visiting Assistant Professor (Spring 1998)
Douglas Kent - I am quite envious of your globetrotting, although it seems to be so frequent that you'd probably rather spend some quiet time at home much more often than you are able to. Besides home, what cities have you been spending the most of your last year in?
Jennifer Siegel - These past 12 months have been very quiet for me, vis-à-vis travel. I’ve mainly been splitting my time between Columbus and New York, with a brief trip to Britain over the summer. In contrast, last summer (’09), I spent two months in St. Petersburg, three weeks in Paris, and two weeks in London. The necessity of spending long stretches of time in foreign cities is one of the great appeals of my profession.
Douglas Kent - Which city that you have visited has been your favorite overall?
Jennifer Siegel - Ah, this is a tough one. Every foreign city has its appeal—even the relative dumps, like Bishkek. I will limit myself to the cities in which I have lived. And, I would have to say London. London is a challenging, monumental, complicated city, simultaneously struggling with its cutting edge modernity and its strongly rooted traditions and history. It has become one of the most exciting cities in the world, in part by embracing and co-opting is position and perception of being a global city. It is interesting that, while the empire is long gone, the vestiges of the empire are continuing to vibrantly enrich the imperial metropole.
Douglas Kent - I know you continue work on your book. Can you give us a few sentences on exactly what the specific topic is? Historical, political, and diplomatic books are quite a hit with this crowd.
Jennifer Siegel - My current book project examines British and
French bank loans to Russia in the late imperial period up to the Genoa
Conference of 1922. This study will contribute to our understanding of the ways
that non-governmental and sometimes transnational actors were able to influence
both British and French foreign policy and Russian foreign and domestic policy.
There are three main themes that will be addressed: the role of individual financiers
and policy makers, and the interplay between them; the importance of foreign
capital in late imperial Russian policy; and the particular role of British
capital and financial investment in the construction and strengthening of the
Anglo-Russo-French entente. The questions addressed will directly relate the
interrelationship of political and economic decision-making with the ideas and
beliefs that inform security policy. Finally, the book will offer an
examination and broader discussion of the ways in which the existence of
alliances not only encourages financial interconnections, it can, at times,
discourage international lending and investment—a finding of which I see
preliminary indications in a comparison of the British and French cases. Therefore,
the book will not only provide insights into the nature of the
Anglo-Russo-French entente, it will also engender greater understanding of the
nature of alliances in general.
I’m happy to talk about my first book, as well, if you’d like.
Douglas Kent - I didn't realize you had
already completed a book. Please tell us about that one as well.
Jennifer Siegel - Endgame: Britain, Russia and the Final Struggle for Central Asia, I.B. Tauris, May 2002
On 31 August 1907, a convention of mutual cordiality was signed between Britain and Russia, formalizing relations between these two competing nations in Central Asia, a region which had become the focal point of the Anglo-Russian rivalry. The 1907 Agreement has been categorized as the diplomatic coup which allowed the former rivals to move from enmity to amicable accord in their opposition to the growing threat from Germany. This traditional approach to the Anglo-Russian Convention interprets the rapprochement between Russia and Great Britain as demonstrating a deliberate shift of emphasis away from Asia and their imperial holdings to the European continent. In this prevailing interpretation, the overriding importance of the 1907 Agreement lay in its role as one of the principal diplomatic foundations of the European alliance structure which so vividly contributed to the outbreak of the Great War; the maintenance of the Anglo-Russian relationship in Asia was, accordingly, significant for the two Great Powers as an essential component of their continental cooperation.
The realities of British and Russian involvement in Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet beyond the conclusion of the 1907 Agreement, however, manifest a far less considerable mutual commitment to Anglo-Russian cooperation than has been previously acknowledged. From the conclusion of the Agreement to the outbreak of the First World War, Anglo-Russian relations in Central Asia were marked by continued tensions and regional maneuvering on both sides, in the same vein as that which had characterized the era before the rapprochement. By the outbreak of the European war in 1914, on numerous fronts the Anglo-Russian Central Asian accord was on the verge of collapse, threatening any further affinity in Europe. For the Russian foreign policy elite, the idea of a forward policy in Central Asia had not only survived the 1907 Agreement, it was, in many ways, a more vital policy concern than the buttressing of entente relations. For the British Government, long committed to the maintenance of amicable Anglo-Russian relations, it had become clear by 1914 that British and Russian Central Asian policies could no longer be reconciled under the existing Agreement. Despite the very real possibility that the breakdown of Anglo-Russian relations in Central Asia could lead towards a rupture of the European entente, Britain was unwilling and unable to tolerate further “peaceful penetration” by the Russian regional presence.
This book demonstrates the precariousness of the Anglo-Russian pre-World War I accord in the face of mutually irreconcilable Central Asian interests. In its illustration of the post-1907 significance of the buffer states of Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet in terms of the strategic planning, commercial expansion, cultural links, and imperial standing of the Central Asian rivals, the book offers a critical means to reexamine the nature of the pre-War balance of power. By the summer of 1914, the relationship of these two Great Powers in Central Asia, rather than predicating the development of a formal Continental alliance, was strained to the breaking point. The outbreak of war intervened, preventing the conflagration of Anglo-Russian regional animosity. But an understanding of the extent to which Anglo-Russian amity had been threatened by the collapse of the 1907 Agreement, which this book explores, is vital in any examination of the pre-War balance of power.
Douglas Kent - Given the academic path you followed, if you did NOT become a professor, what would have been the other areas of employment you could have pursued which would have made use of your knowledge?
Jennifer Siegel - Well, I might have gone to work on the policy side of things, perhaps going to work for the State Department. I might have gone to work at a think tank. I might have gone to work for an investment bank. Who knows?
Douglas Kent - Is it true that you went to
High School with Douglas Kent? Was he as much of an irritant back then as he is
It is true that I went to High School with Douglas Kent.
As for relative levels of irritation, I can only say that there was no Facebook
[[Jennifer occasionally has to delete my posts to her
wall. It seems sometimes I go too far
my sarcastic sense of humor crossing the
line from PG rating to R or worse …I
just piss Jennifer off, okay?]]
Douglas Kent - Can you give us three reasons you never dated him?
Jennifer Siegel - Wait, we never dated? Why am I wasting my time
answering all these questions?
[[Actually this is to pay me back for never asking you
out. You and every other woman owe me
big for that!]]
Douglas Kent - What five CD's are getting the most play by you at the moment?
Jennifer Siegel - 1) An advance copy of the brilliant new recording of Handel areas by the renowned countertenor, Bejun Mehta and the Freiburger Baroque Orchestra, called “Ombra Cara.” (I think it comes out the end of November.)
2) My complete set of the Ring Cycle. (Actually 20 cds on its own, but let me count it as one!) The James Levine, Metropolitan Opera recording.
3) Javier Ruibal’s “Sahara”
4) Carla Bruni’s “Quelqu'un m'a dit”
5) Uma2rmaH’s “Куда Приводят Мечты”. You asked.
Douglas Kent - Can you name a few good books you've read in the last year?
Jennifer Siegel - I really enjoyed Dominic Lieven’s “Russia Against Napoleon,” which I reviewed for the Wall Street Journal.
I loved Christopher Fowler’s memoir of growing up geeky in Britain in the 50s and 60s, “Paperboy.”
I really enjoyed Ghita Schwarz’s quiet tale of WWII
refugees “Displaced Persons.”
Douglas Kent - What would you say are your five favorite films of all time?
Jennifer Siegel - Oh, this is a tough one. Let’s see. Zulu. Lagaan. The Meaning of Life. Love and Death. Bridge over the River Kwai.
Douglas Kent - Are you dressing up for Halloween? As what?
Jennifer Siegel - I am dressing up as a professor desperately
trying to finish her next book.
Douglas Kent - What's your poison?
Jennifer Siegel - Bourbon, one ice cube.
Well there you go folks. So now if you see this beautiful, fascinating and brilliant woman at a hotel bar, you know what to send over. Now, who will the next victim of this interview process be. Got any suggestions??
Toby Harris: I just read the three page article on the Excel Linest function for linear regression. It was of interest because I use Excel daily, to analyze & audit the UK’s 2.5million business records in small Excel-sized chunks. Regression & CHAID analysis are familiar enough techniques. But I wonder how many others would follow it?
Andy York: A quick note on the latest ES (if I don't get this out now, I don't know when I will). Work has been very busy, as well as trips to Arlington for the Division playoffs and the ALCS (was there on Saturday - GREAT game!!!).
I did get my voting duties done this morning. Of course, the usual early voting location had been closed with just a sign in the door listing the other voting locations. While I as there, other folks came up to vote and the person setting at the desk there was obviously tired (at 9:30am) of directing people to the few sheets of paper taped to one window. It ended up taking over an hour to vote, only four minutes of which were actually spent voting. And, I lodged my protest in having to use electronic voting machines without a paper trail.
That being said, I'd say it is 50-50 on whether I'll have a column next week. I've a big work project that hits a hard deadline on Thursday; but I've just found out another major project has a hard deadline of December 31. So, I need to shift gears immediately to focus on that.
For the Hypotheticals, I wasn't copping out in my answer to question #2. It is a situation that wouldn't occur so I've no idea how I would handle it. I've little experience dealing with children and no experience in owning a dog so if I did answer, it wouldn't have any validity or represent what I would do in that situation.
Jim Burgess: [[Detailing his Movie Quote deductions, after he wondered aloud how they may have aged]] It was just that way, Apocalypse Now is perhaps even BETTER, but Kramer vs. Kramer was LAME! In the order in which I figured them out....
10) Apocalypse Now. 3) Kramer vs. Kramer
still thinking 1970s movies at this point.... so
7) Escape from Alcatraz, didn't bother to go watch it, but I think this is right.
5) Is definitely All That Jazz, again didn't go watch it again.
then I was stuck for awhile.... until.... China Syndrome came on and my wife and I watched it again and I was thinking... one of these must be in there....
9) The China Syndrome (boy is THIS dated, but fun)
I'm now thinking I'm positive almost ALL of these movies were 1979, this was my last year, Senior year, of College. So, I am now thinking 1979 movies as the category, until proven wrong, but have to scour my memory for movies I saw that year since I can't look them up.
But strangely, this didn't help me.... I made ZERO progress on (1), NO idea.
(2) I knew was SOME comedy, maybe Steve Martin or something, but can't recall which one. I might get this with more time. Similarly with (4) though it was not a comedy but a DRAAAAMA.
(6) must be Meatballs, go Harold Ramis!!! But I'm not sure, I do recall clearly that Meatballs was another 1979er though.
That leaves (8), I think I know what (8) was, and knowing 1979 I know WHICH one in the series it was.... but I never saw any of them and I HATE the very idea of those SS movies. So, I don't care if I lose over it, I ain't sayin'. I had a roommate the next year in grad. school that used to play this theme EVERY morning before he went out running.... really. Wake up to that every single morning and see how you feel about it.
Clearly, they are ALL 1979 movies.
Late Arrivals at the Gardners Ball
by Richard Walkerdine
Oh dear, there aren’t many guests here. The invitation said the ball would start at 8pm and it’s almost that now. No, wait a minute, I can see a coach pulling into the parking area and it does look fairly full. Let’s see who I can recognise.
Oh yes, there are Mr and Mrs ATOES and their two sons, TOM and his junky brother usually referred to as ‘POT’, followed by Mrs DENDRON and her lovely daughter RHODA. Rhoda seems to be chatting with the BUSH daughters, ROSE and HOLLY (I think they were school friends). And behind them we have Mr and Mrs BEAN and their sons, Stan the athletic one (usually called ‘RUNNER’) and Paul the rather overweight one (usually, a little unkindly, called ‘BROAD’). Goodness, they have also brought their cousin from Europe. I’m afraid I don’t know his name but he must be the FRENCH BEAN. And behind them I can see Colin FLOWER (his friends of course call him ‘COLLY’), MARY GOLD and the SNIP boys with their old PA, Mr and Mrs COT with their daughter APRIL and Mr and Mrs ANTHEMUM and their son CHRIS. That’s better, the hall is starting to fill up nicely now.
But still more guests are arriving. I can see the BERRY family, with father BILL, the grandfather (usually just called ‘ELDER’) and the Scottish nephew LOGAN, followed by Derek PHINIUM (although his friends call him DEL) and the rather effeminate James LION (who likes to think of himself as a bit of a DANDY). Then there is Mr and Mrs ANIUM and their son GERRY, Mr and Mrs SPINE and their son SCOTT, the GUERITE sisters with their old MA, the opera singer Barry CHESTNUT (I’ve heard he has been performing so much he is now rather HOARSE) , the wrestler Stan ONIA (usually just referred to as ‘BIG’), Mr and Mrs TUFT and their daughter CANDY and, all the way from Wales, Mr and Mrs LIA and their son DAI.
But now the guests are just pouring in. In fact it’s difficult to keep up with them all. There is Mrs HOCK with her daughter HOLLY, Mr and Mrs OFTHEVALLEY and their daughter LILLY, Mr COBEAN and his son HARRY, Mr and Mrs UNIA and their lovely daughter Petula (usually known as PET), Mr ANTHUS and his daughter POLLY, Mrs OLA and her daughter VI, Mr and Mrs TROOT and their daughter BEA and finally Mr and Mrs SALEM-ARTICHOKE and their son JERRY. The hall is certainly getting full now.
And the first dance has started. I can see Mr COT’s daughter APRIL dancing with Mr ENTINE’s son CLEM, Mr and Mrs PERSIMMON’s son Billy from Dallas (usually he’s just called ‘TEXAS’) dancing with Mrs SUCKLE’s daughter HONEY and Mr and Mrs ERMELON’s son WALT dancing with Mrs NUT’s daughter HAZEL. Now that’s more like it, at last the ball has really begun.
But there are still some more late arrivals, even though it’s now nearly 8.30 – were there some traffic problems? Because here come Mr and Mrs TOMATO with their daughter CHERRY, the English couple Mr and Mrs GRANATE with their son Graham (recently emigrated to Australia and always referred to as ‘POMMY’), the PAYA brothers with their old PA and young Steven PEAR (still on his anger management course and, sadly, still called ‘PRICKLY’) – good luck Steven.
Surely that must be everyone? But no, I see the Chinese under secretary for social affairs LI CHEE and, now that is a very good bit of diplomacy, because he is accompanied by our ambassador to China Stanley Rathborne (who I understand speaks fluent MANDARIN). I suppose the politicians would always be expected to make the grand (and final) entrance.
Yes, they are the last arrivals as I see the doors have been closed.
(Author’s note. As I suspect most of the readers are masochists (why else would you be reading Doug’s zine?) I hope to inflict one of these on you every couple of issues. But I could do with some help. So if anyone interested would like to send me (email@example.com) suggestions for late arrivals at the ZOO KEEPER’S ball (you know, Mr and Mrs GAL-TIGER and their son BEN) by the next deadline I will collate them, add a few of my own, and the results will appear in the issue after that. You have been warned! Oh, and suggestions for future balls would also be very welcome.)
SIR THOMAS BEECHAM
by Richard Walkerdine
(This is claimed to be a true story)
Sir Thomas Beecham was a world famous British orchestra conductor who rose to fame around 1910 and continued conducting well into the 1950s. Although a brilliant conductor he was also known to be terribly absent-minded.
One day in the late 1930s he was walking through London and approaching Harrods, the famous (and very high class) department store. As he approached the store the doors opened and a very elegantly dressed lady started walking down the steps, followed by two flunkies carrying an assortment of bags. At the roadside was a Rolls Royce, with a chauffeur holding open the door.
Sir Thomas immediately recognised the lady but, being absent-minded, couldn’t for the life of him remember her name.
The lady saw him. “Oh Sir Thomas,” she said. “How nice to see you. Are you well?”
“Oh very well ma’am,” replied the conductor, still trying to remember her name, “and you?”
“Yes I am very well thank you,” she replied. “And how is your wife?”
“She is also very well ma’am,” replied Sir Thomas, still wracking his brain to remember the lady’s name.
“And how is your husband?”
The lady smiled. “Oh he is just fine Sir Thomas, thank you for asking.”
Then he had a brainwave. If he could discover what the lady’s husband did for a living then perhaps it would help him put a name to the face. “And what is your husband doing these days?” he asked.
The lady gave him a rather odd look and replied, “Oh...he’s still the King.”
WHO DO WE HATE?
by Richard Walkerdine (an Englishman)
We hate the French, because they are French and we have always hated them.
We hate the Scots, because they hate us.
We hate the Welsh, because they are small and scruffy and smell of coal dust.
We hate the Australians at sport, or at least at cricket, rugby and swimming – at most other sports we can beat them.
(We used to hate the West Indians at cricket but now we don’t because we always beat them.)
We hate the Icelanders because they keep stealing our fish.
We don’t actually hate the Germans, even though we fought them in two World Wars, but we do understand they have absolutely no sense of humour.
We hate the Canadians just a bit, but only because they let Quebec have French as its first language (see the first line).
We hate the Spanish for the same reason as we hate the Icelanders.
We hate all of Eastern Europe because they always gang up on us at the annual Eurovision Song Contest.
We don’t hate the Argentineans because we kicked their butts in the Falklands War and so they should have learned their lesson.
And the Americans? No, we don’t hate them, in fact we feel a bit sorry for them. We used to run the world before they did and we know how difficult it is.
But we still hate the French.
What do I know? What do I really know?
by Paul Milewski
One of my pet gripes about my four years as an undergraduate was the course in physical geology that I took. To show how old I am, plate tectonics was a theory that at that time had not received enough acceptance to even be mentioned in our textbook. A great deal of what we “learn” are things we accept, either because the information is conveyed to us by an authority figure or simply because we hear it so often from so many people we lazily assume it is right. Both reasons for believing something to be true have probably held back civilization at every opportunity to advance it. Remember the Dominican monk Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake on 2/9/1600 by the Church for his belief in the heretical views of Copernicus and how on 6/22/1633 Galileo was forced by the Inquisition to recant his belief in the Copernican doctrine? How many generations lived their lives comfortable in the certainty that the earth is the center of the universe?
Consider the 10/30/1938 broadcast of The Mercury Theatre on the Air in which an adaptation of The War of the Worlds caused widespread panic. As reported on the front page of the New York Times the next day, “The broadcast, which disrupted households, interrupted religious services, created traffic jams and clogged communications systems…” “…At least a score of adults required medical treatment for shock and hysteria…” “In Indianapolis a woman ran into a church screaming: ‘New York destroyed; it’s the end of the world. You might as well as go home to die. I just heard it on the radio.’”
I’ve read that one of the reasons that the United States got entangled in the Korean War was that “everyone” in Washington knew that the entire Communist world was monolithic and absolutely under the control of Moscow so what China might do didn’t need to be considered. Everyone in Washington knew that.
There was a time when a man who had a heart attack would be told to eat lots of red meat and get plenty of rest. Now they tell you to eat lots of vegetables and get some exercise. Why do doctors wear white lab coats when they interact with their patients? Because if you wear a white lab coat, everything you say is more believable. It makes you an authority figure.
I was struck by TV coverage of the trouble in the Balkans a few years ago, with “ethnic cleansing” (a particularly obnoxious term people keep using without thinking what it means) and prison camp atrocities, a old woman interviewed on the street in Serbia said the stories couldn’t be true because it “wasn’t in the Serbian character” to do such awful things. She knew that.
A friend of mine at work speaks fluent Russian from his days as a radio operator during the Vietnam War. His job was to listen to conversations between Russians in North Vietnam. He tells me how shocked he was the first time he realized that the Russians he was listening to believed we were the bad guys.
I read books. I read books in which authors make assertions of fact based on research. I usually take their word for it that they’re not pulling my leg. When I was in graduate school working on my MBA, I noticed that management textbooks always had a footnote citing the psychologist Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs, so one day I went downtown to the Cleveland Public Library and actually read the book that I kept seeing cited in all these textbooks. Much to my surprise, Maslow in his book didn’t at all write what all these textbook authors implied or suggested he did. I doubt if any of these guys had ever read Maslow’s book. They just saw him cited in a textbook written by someone else and put a footnote in their own book. They all knew the import of what Maslow had written without ever reading it themselves.
Even everyday things we know are taken for granted. I was thinking of a well known restaurant that used to be in Cincinnati. It was called La Maisonette. I think I drove by it once, I read newspaper articles about it, and I heard people talk about it on the radio, so I know it existed, but with the passage of sufficient time, say a century or two, perhaps its knowledge of its existence will degenerate to a rumor, or even worse, an inference by an archaeologist.
I remember being in my car listening to a report of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident on the radio. A government spokesman was holding a press conference assuring everyone that everything was under control and that there was nothing to worry about. Shortly afterward there was a clip of a radio conversation between a guy on the roof of the reactor and someone at a distance, asking the guy on the roof what his radiation measuring device reading was. When the guy on the roof replied, the guy at a distance started yelling, “Get off the roof! Get off the roof!”
It should be no wonder that it appears so easy to perpetrate a hoax or to fool an entire nation Goebbels-style with a big lie.
Brain Farts: The Only Subsubzine With It’s Own Fragrance
By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh – firstname.lastname@example.org
(or just email Doug and he’ll send it to me)
I have so little enthusiasm these days and not much to say. Still can’t find a job. May lose my house, my internet…and that’s the good news. Still, as Doug told me, all I really need is sex, money, and beer. But I had to remind him that he left out food. And snacks.
I’m not starting any new games right now until I know the status of my internet connection. I can’t even get dial-up because I have no land line. So for now unless I go on one of my sports or political diatribes, all you pieces of crap get are the jokes I provide you with. You’re welcome...especially since nobody ever says thanks or sends me stuff, like money or beer or snacks.
Seriously, if anybody has any job leads for me in the west Jersey/Camden/Philly area let me know. I’ve got degrees, certifications, Masters Degrees…but I’m either overqualified or don’t have the requisite 50 years of experience. I mean, shit, this week I saw an ENTRY LEVEL job ad, which required “advanced experience.” What a load of bullshit. Maybe I should move to Washington D.C. and get paid a nice salary for going on vacation.
Redneck Medical Dictionary
The study of paintings
Bacteria....................Back door to cafeteria
Barium..................... What doctors do when patients die
Benign......................What you be, after you be eight
Caesarean Section.....A neighborhood in Rome
Cat scan...................Searching for Kitty
Cauterize..................Made eye contact with her
Colic.........................A sheep dog
Coma....................... A punctuation mark
Dilate.......................To live long
Enema......................Not a friend
Fester...................... Quicker than someone else
Fibula.......................A small lie
Impotent...................Distinguished, well known
Labor Pain...............Getting hurt at work
Medical Staff.............A Doctor's cane
Morbid......................A higher offer
Nitrates.....................Cheaper than day rates
Node.........................I knew it
Outpatient.................A person who has fainted
Pelvis........................Second cousin to Elvis
Post Operative............A letter carrier
Recovery Room...........Place to do upholstery
Rectum......................Nearly killed him
Tablet........................A small table
Terminal Illness..........Getting sick at the airport
Tumor........................One plus one more
Urine.........................Opposite of you're out
Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Zachary Jarvie, Brad Wilson, Jeff O’Donnell, Jack McHugh, Melinda Holley, Hank Alme, needs one more to fill.
Gunboat Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up: None, need seven 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.
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. New Game Begins This Issue!!
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 13
Austria (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” comcast.net): A Bohemia Supports A Venice – Tyrolia,
A Budapest Supports A Galicia, A Galicia Supports A Ukraine, A Ukraine Supports A Sevastopol,
A Vienna Supports A Bohemia.
England (Jérémie LeFrançois - jeremie.lefrancois “of”gmail.com): F Berlin – Kiel, A Brest – Picardy,
F English Channel Supports F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
F Gascony Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc) (*Cut*), A Livonia Supports A Warsaw,
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc) (*Fails*), A Moscow Hold, A Munich Supports A Paris – Burgundy,
F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*), F North Sea Hold, A Paris – Burgundy,
F Portugal Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Spain(sc), A Prussia Supports A Silesia, A Silesia Hold,
A St Petersburg Supports A Moscow, A Warsaw Hold.
Italy (Don Williams – dwilliam “of” fontana.org): A Marseilles - Gascony (*Fails*),
F North Africa - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*), A Piedmont Supports A Venice – Tyrolia,
F Spain(sc) Supports F North Africa - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Venice – Tyrolia,
F Western Mediterranean Supports F Spain(sc).
Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com): Retreats A Moscow - Sevastopol..
F Aegean Sea Hold, F Ankara - Black Sea, A Armenia Supports A Sevastopol, A Bulgaria Supports A Rumania,
F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Rumania Supports A Ukraine, A Sevastopol Supports A Ukraine.
Now Proposed - DIAS
Winter 1913/Spring 1914 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Trieste, Vienna=5, Even
England: Belgium, Berlin, Brest, Denmark, Edinburgh, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Moscow,
Munich, Norway, Paris, Portugal, St Petersburg, Sweden, Warsaw=17, Build 1
Italy: Marseilles, Naples, Rome, Spain, Tunis, Venice=6, Even
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Rumania, Sevastopol, Smyrna=6, Remove 1
Austria to England : Vote the DIAS. I think you can see we aren’t going to attack each other and, without that, you won’t get #18.
Con-Rome: good hunting.
Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, W 09/S 10
Austria (Lance Anderson – lance_anderson “of” hotmail.com): Build A Vienna, A Budapest, A Trieste..
A Berlin Supports A Munich, A Bohemia – Silesia, A Budapest – Rumania, A Munich Supports A Berlin,
A Piedmont Supports A Marseilles, F Rome Hold, A Silesia – Prussia, A Trieste – Serbia,
A Tyrolia Supports A Munich, A Vienna - Bohemia.
England (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” gmail.com): F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc),
F English Channel - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*), A Finland Supports F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc),
A Gascony - Spain (*Fails*), F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Western Mediterranean (*Bounce*),
F North Africa Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Western Mediterranean,
F Norway Supports F Barents Sea - St Petersburg(nc).
France (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 ”of” yahoo.com): F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Bounce*).
Germany (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” hotmail.com): No Moves Received! Disbands F Berlin..
A Burgundy, A Kiel, A Ruhr Unordered.
Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” gmail.com): F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), F Black Sea Hold,
F Greece Supports F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*),
A Marseilles Supports F Spain(sc), A Moscow Supports A St Petersburg,
F Naples Supports F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*),
F Spain(sc) Supports F Portugal - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Cut*),
St Petersburg Supports A Moscow (*Dislodged*,
retreat to Livonia or OTB),
F Tunis Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean,
F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean (*Bounce*), A Ukraine Supports A Moscow.
Would Paul Milewski (paul.milewski “of” hotmail.com) please standby for Germany?
Summer/Fall 1910 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
Bud-Ank: Just a little insurance for my peace of mind...
Bud-Kie: Perhaps I was too hasty in my previous declaration, would you care to try the English weather at this point?
TURKEY to LOYAL PHILADELPHIANS: Friends, Philadelphians, Countrymen, lend me your ears. We keep moving until we are saved. In the meantime enjoy Portuguese seafood.
Por-world: 10 years? Really? wow.
PRIME MINISTER TO SULTAN BOOB OF TURKEY: Portugal
is worth what to you? I mean, for me it means free port, excellent anchorage,
fine Roman bridges and fabulous weather, with excellent prospects for the
establishment of new armaments industries and unrivalled naval access to the
Atlantic. Did I mention the women?
But apart from all these things, why bother with the Portuguese? They're hardly worth it! They can't even defend themselves!
Be a gent and let me have the damn place, and I'll leave Spain to you. And I'll tell you what I'll do; I'll even let you take as much of the best port as you can stuff into the hold of your flagship. Fair enough, sultan?
PRIME MINISTER TO GERMANY: Rather a big mess you've created there. Now how on earth do we dig you out of it?
TURKEY to FANS OF AUSTRIA: Yes, yes, our drive toward center equality makes more progress, and the hapless Brit helps us along. Patience, now, patience.
“Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse
Billy Ray Valentine: Missing in Action.
Duke of York: No purchases or sales.
Smaug the Dragon: Sells 500 Crowns, 500 Marks. Buys 534 Piastres, 384 Pounds.
Rothschild: Sells 500 Piastres. Buys 518 Crowns.
Baron Wuffet: No activity.
Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Sells 500 Piastres and 500 Pounds. Buys 762 Crowns.
VAIONT Enterprises: Sells 500 Piastres, 155 Pounds. Buys 597 Crowns.
Insider Trading LLC: Lawyers up and shuts up.
Bourse Master: Sells 500 Pounds. Buys 236 Piastres.
Next Bourse Deadline is November 28th at 7:00pm my time
DUKE OF YORK to ROTHSCHILD: I advance by buying French francs. Viva la France! Now, just drop the price a bit more so I can buy another one. If not, next time I'll sell a Piastre or three to do it.
VAIONT Enterprises to SEC and FAIR TRADE COMMISSION: I demand and immediate multiple in-depth investigations to determine how and why Wooden Nickel and VE sold identical amounts of identical currencies in last month’s trading, but Wooden Nickel ended up purchasing 1 Austrian crown more than VE did. Not since the days of Enron and the “smartest guys in the room” culture of greed have we witnessed such egregious disdain for fair accounting practices and financial transparency!!! I smell a back room deal here, with insider trading surely at the root of it. I demand arbitration or, failing that, an adjustment of one crown to my account.
Sugar to Smaug the Incompetent: I've heard enough noise from
you about how you're the magnificent dragon. You ain't delivering the goods.
You made a right muck-up of the currency dealing and you're sitting on piles of
worthless paper. Tell me why I shouldn't throw you out the door of this board
Smaug to Lord Sugar: I take your point about the trading issues. It was embarassing and I take responsibility for it. But deep down I know I have it in me to be a great business person. I blame it on Rothschild, who wouldn't share his pie and undermined me at every turn ( ;) ) and on the Duke of York who instead of backing me as project manager, spent his time marching up and down hills and shouting advice at me from the distance. It was disrespectful and how am I supposed to lead a team who won't respect me? I did my best...
Lord Sugar to Smaug: Excuses ain't worth a damn. You made the call on the Roubles and it blew up in your face. You then lost even more money buying Marks! That's not business sense, that's pouring money down the bog-hole. I don't need a business man who can't even play the market!
You've talked yourself into this. Smaug, you're fired.
**NEXT WEEK..... ON THE APPRENTICE**
Austria (William Wood – wxmanwill “of” hotmail.com): Disbands A Trieste..No Moves Received!
A Budapest Unordered (*Disbanded*), F Greece Unordered, A
France (Paraic Reddington - Paraic.Reddington “of” vix-erg.com):
F Apulia Supports F Ionian Sea - Adriatic Sea, A Gascony – Burgundy, F Gulf of Lyon - Tyrrhenian Sea,
F Ionian Sea -
Adriatic Sea (*Dislodged*, retreat Albania or OTB), A Marseilles –
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Hold, F North Atlantic Ocean Hold, F Tunis - Ionian Sea (*Fails*), A Tuscany – Venice,
A Tyrolia Supports A Tuscany – Venice, F Tyrrhenian Sea – Naples, A Yorkshire Hold.
Germany (Philip Murphy trekkypj “of” gmail.com): F Barents Sea Supports F Sweden – Norway,
A Bohemia – Vienna, A Galicia Supports A Vienna – Budapest, F Gulf of Bothnia - St Petersburg(sc),
A Livonia Supports A Warsaw – Moscow, A Munich – Bohemia, A Silesia – Warsaw, F Sweden – Norway,
A Trieste - Serbia (*Fails*), A Ukraine - Rumania., A Vienna – Budapest, A Warsaw - Moscow.
Turkey (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea,
F Aegean Sea Supports F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea,
F Eastern Mediterranean Supports F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea, A Sevastopol Hold.
Would Martin Burgdorf (martin_burgdorf “of” hotmail.com) please standby for Austria?
Autumn/W 07/S 08 deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
Supply Center Chart
Austria: Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia=3, Even (No room to build)
France: Belgium, Brest, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Marseilles, Naples, Paris, Portugal,
Rome, Spain, Tunis, Venice=13, Build 1 or 2
Germany: Berlin, Budapest, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Moscow, Munich, Norway, Rumania,
St Petersburg, Sweden, Trieste, Vienna, Warsaw=14, Build 2
Turkey: Ankara, Constantinople, Sevastopol, Smyrna=4, Even
Turkey to France: You may be equal with Germany now, but the remaining dots will be easier for him than for you. Ya better think about stabbing, while you still can.
F to A - Good to have
you back. Now let's see about getting you going again. I left you a hefty
supply of Ouzo. Help yourself. Then settle down for a nice long sleep.
F to T - The regatta
is about to commence. Ready....Set.....FIRE!!!
G to F: Agreed. I'll bring the cigars, you bring
the port. I believe the Sultan has kindly offered us the indefinite use of his
personal estate. And the Archduke's personal harem are
already awaiting us! It's good to be Kaiser.
Kaiser Wilhelm to All: I vant that 'Anonymous' vit found and zhot mit extreme perjurist! I vill not have dissent!
G to ALL: CHAAAAAAAAAAAARGE! *bugles blare*
F to G - The black
horde descends upon the continent. Your soldiers are burning their women and
raping their buildings. Have you no shame??
F to F - Next time check that you have your keys BEFORE you pull the door closed, dumbass.
White Press Diplomacy “Creepshow” 2009D, W 05/S 06
Austria (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of”yahoo.com): A Venice - Piedmont.
England (Chuy Cronin – chuykdc_92 “of” hotmail.com): F Denmark - Kiel (*Fails*), F North Sea Hold,
Norway Supports F Norwegian Sea - Barents Sea (*Dislodged*, retreat Norwegian
Sea or Skagerrak or OTB),
F Norwegian Sea - Barents Sea, A Yorkshire Hold.
France (Michael Cronin – mfmcronin “of” q.com): Retreat A Bohemia – Silesia, Disband A Munich..
Build A Marseilles.. F Belgium - English Channel, A Burgundy Supports A Tyrolia – Munich, A Marseilles Hold,
A Picardy – Belgium, A Silesia - Berlin (*Fails*), A Tyrolia - Munich.
Germany (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” yahoo.com): A Berlin Supports A Munich (*Cut*),
F Holland - North Sea (*Fails*), A Kiel Supports A Munich (*Cut*),
Munich Hold (*Dislodged*, retreat to Ruhr or OTB).
Italy (Graham Wilson – grahamaw “of” rogers.com): Remove F Tunis, F Naples..
A Apulia - Venice
A Livonia - Warsaw (*Dislodged*, retreat to Prussia or OTB).
Russia (Kevin Wilson - ckevinw “of” comcast.net): Build A Moscow.. A Bohemia - Silesia (*Fails*),
A Budapest – Galicia, A Moscow – Livonia, F Sevastopol Hold, F St Petersburg(nc) Supports F Sweden – Norway,
F Sweden – Norway, A Vienna – Tyrolia, A Warsaw Supports A Moscow - Livonia.
Turkey (Larry Cronin – lcroninmd “of” msn.com): Build A Constantinople, F Smyrna..
F Adriatic Sea – Venice, A Constantinople – Bulgaria, F Greece - Ionian Sea, F Ionian Sea – Naples,
A Rome Supports F Ionian Sea – Naples, F Smyrna - Aegean Sea, A Trieste Supports F Adriatic Sea – Venice,
F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports F Ionian Sea - Naples.
Autumn/Fall 06 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
R to I: So, did you keep the forlorn hope in Livonia or did you keep your units nearer home and try, just for one more year, maybe, if you’re lucky, to stay alive? I’m betting you went for the nuisance approach as your press suggested. I have a cure for that.
Italy -> Russia: I flipped a coin. Did you guess right?
F-R: Russia how did you get to me so fast GAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
F-R: friends? Truce? I’ll let you have Berlin just help me get Germany or leave me alone please
Italy -> England: The Russian itch? Hey - that's me!
Italy -> Turkey: Please consider my humble request. What fun we (well, at least me) will have!
Diplomacy “Bellicus” from Strange Meeting, Fall/Winter 1911
France (Pat Vogelsang – godawgsgo33 “of” yahoo.com): A Brest Hold,
A Liverpool Hold (*Dislodged*, removed), A Paris Hold
Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” asciiking.com): A Belgium Supports A Picardy,
A Budapest Supports A Vienna – Trieste, F English Channel - Brest (*Fails*), A Galicia Supports A Budapest,
A Gascony – Paris, F Irish Sea – Liverpool, A Moscow Supports A Ukraine, F Norway - North Sea,
F Norwegian Sea - North Atlantic Ocean, A Picardy Supports A Gascony – Paris,
A Tyrolia Supports A Vienna – Trieste, A Ukraine Supports A Paris – Hell (Holds), A Vienna - Trieste (*Bounce*),
F Wales Supports F Irish Sea - Liverpool..Builds F St. Petersburg(north coast), A Warsaw.
Turkey (Phil Amos – p.v.a “of” btinternet.com): A Albania - Trieste (*Bounce*),
A Armenia Supports A Sevastopol, F Black Sea Supports A Rumania, F Bulgaria(ec) Supports A Rumania,
F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea, F Marseilles Supports F Piedmont,
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports F Portugal - Spain(nc) (*Fails*), F Piedmont Supports F Marseilles,
F Portugal - Spain(nc) (*Fails*), A Rumania Supports A Sevastopol, A Serbia Supports A Albania – Trieste,
A Sevastopol Supports A Rumania, F Spain(sc) - Portugal (*Fails*), F Trieste - Adriatic Sea,
F Tyrrhenian Sea - Western Mediterranean, A Venice Supports A Albania - Trieste.
Now Proposed- Concession to Russia
Spring/Summer 1912 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
Supply Center Chart
France: Brest, Edinburgh=2, Plays 1 Short (Nowhere to Build)
Russia: Belgium, Berlin, Budapest, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Liverpool, London, Moscow, Munich,
Norway, Paris, St Petersburg, Sweden, Vienna, Warsaw=16, Builds 2
Turkey: Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Marseilles, Naples, Portugal, Rome, Rumania,
Serbia, Sevastopol, Smyrna, Spain, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=16, Even
Russia - There are cities that could be successfully defended by an old lady with a broomstick. Then there's Paris.
The French general tells units to place heads between legs and kiss butts goodbye. Good game to all, specially Chris.
Turkey to France: As France has decided to drag this game out it might have made sense for him to contact Turkey this turn and suggest moves that would stop the 'likely' Russian win. This he has failed to do. I am therefore again proposing a concession to Russia and would ask France to either vote in favour or contact Turkey with his planned moves to avert a Russian win. I will wait in eager anticipation.
Black Press Gunboat, “Maple Sugar,” 2009Crb32, W 07/S 08
Austria: A Serbia – Budapest, A Silesia - Livonia (*Fails*), A Trieste Supports A Vienna – Tyrolia,
A Venice – Apulia, A Vienna - Tyrolia.
England: Remove F Edinburgh..
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Western Mediterranean,
F Norwegian Sea Supports F
North Sea - Norway (*Dislodged*, retreat to Edinburgh or
Clyde or North Atlantic Ocean or OTB).
France: F Tunis Hold.
Germany: Build A Berlin, A Kiel.. A Berlin – Prussia, F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Burgundy – Munich,
F Denmark – Sweden, A Kiel – Berlin, F London - North Sea, A Munich – Bohemia, F North Sea – Skagerrak,
A Piedmont - Tyrolia (*Fails*), A Portugal – Spain, A Spain - Marseilles.
Italy: Retreat F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea.. A Rome Supports F Tyrrhenian Sea – Naples,
F Tyrrhenian Sea - Naples.
Russia: Remove A Albania.. F Barents Sea - Norwegian Sea, A Galicia - Rumania (*Fails*), A Moscow – Ukraine,
F Norway Supports F Barents Sea - Norwegian Sea, F Sevastopol Supports A Galicia – Rumania,
A Warsaw Supports A Galicia (*Ordered to Move*).
Turkey: Build F Smyrna.. A Bulgaria Supports F Rumania, A Constantinople – Smyrna,
F Greece Supports F Ionian Sea, F Ionian Sea Supports A Serbia - Albania (*Void*), F Rumania Hold,
F Smyrna - Aegean Sea.
Summer/Fall 08 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
G: As soon as a Turkish unit is close to a German sc, I shall
declare war on you too!
England -> Germany: If I am in WMed, and you are in MAO, then next
turn I shall support you into the NAf.
Germany - Italy: I thought I'd just pass through Pie and let you take Venice (if that's how your units are lined up). Then Ven - Tri until you get in. Cutting Tri's support is the benefit I will get.
R-World: Activate order 66.... terminate all Turks... Join the dark side.... we have cookies
R-G: would you like a German- Russian draw? you will get enough supply centers before you have to kill me :)
Germany - Turkey: I have never tried to quote German. Did that press really look like one of my messages?
Congratulations on your bamboozling of Russia. I haven't got a clue as to what his game plan was, is or will be!
Germany - Russia: It's become impossible not to take advantage of your situation.
Turkey -> Russia: Let me get this straight ... you and Germany are allies, and yet, he was TWICE as many centers as you? You are really are a sucker, aren't you?
T => A: I did as you told me.
Graustark Game 2002D, F 18 - Game Delayed
Fred Wiedemeyer returned, but his orders arrived late. Meanwhile, two other players submitted no orders at all. So I have decided to delay the game, and ask the players to consider the F/G Draw again (as the player who DID submit orders voted no to DIAS). Please vote on the F/G draw, and this game will continue next issue one way or another. Fred and the other player who submitted order may change them, and hopefully the missing players will return (or the F/G draw passes).
Fall 1918 Deadline is now November 29th at 7:00am my time
Graustark Diplomacy Game 2006A, S 08
Austria (Don Williams – dwilliams “of” fontana.org): A Bohemia Supports A Galicia – Silesia,
A Galicia – Silesia, F Greece Hold, A Rumania – Galicia, A Tyrolia - Munich (*Fails*),
A Vienna Supports A Bohemia.
England (Fred Wiedemeyer – wiedem “of” planet.eon.net): F English Channel Supports F Picardy – Brest,
F Irish Sea - Mid-Atlantic Ocean (*Fails*), F North Atlantic Ocean Supports F Irish Sea - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
F Norway Supports F St Petersburg(nc), A Paris Supports F Picardy – Brest, F Picardy – Brest,
F St Petersburg(nc) Supports F Norway.
France (Hank Alme – almehj “of” alumni.rice.edu): F Portugal Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
Germany (Harley Jordan – harleyj “of” alum.mit.edu): No Moves Received! A Berlin Hold,
Burgundy Hold, A Kiel Hold, F Livonia Hold, A Munich Hold, A Prussia Hold,
Silesia Hold (*Disbanded*).
Italy (Jim Burgess –
jfburgess “of” gmail.com):
A Bulgaria Supports A Rumania (*Dislodged*,
retreat to Serbia or OTB), F Gascony - Brest (*Fails*), A Marseilles Supports A Spain - Gascony (*Fails*),
F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports F Gascony - Brest (*Cut*), F North Africa Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean,
A Spain - Gascony (*Fails*), F Western Mediterranean Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean.
Russia (John Biehl – jerbil “of” shaw.ca): F Aegean Sea Supports A Constantinople – Bulgaria,
A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Moscow Supports A Warsaw, A Sevastopol – Rumania,
A Ukraine Supports A Sevastopol – Rumania, A Warsaw Supports A Galicia - Silesia.
Would Graham Wilson (grahamaw “of” rogers.com) standby for Germany?
Now Proposed – A/E/G/I/R Draw. Please vote with your orders.
Fall 08 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
Moscow (Apr 1, 1908) Czar Ivan VII declared today that Russia is committed to fraternal co-existence with all nations. He further re-iterated his displeasure with the invading English and Germans expressing his wish that they would withdraw their forces from the motherland.
BOOB to the BOARD: Are we still playing or what? I don't want to play if we replace both Biehl and Wiedemeyer.
Black Press Gunboat, “Scream” 2010Brb32, Spring 1901
Austria: A Budapest – Serbia, F Trieste - Venice (*Fails*), A Vienna - Tyrolia.
England: F Edinburgh - North Sea, A Liverpool – Yorkshire, F London - English Channel.
France: F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Marseilles – Spain, A Paris - Burgundy (*Bounce*).
Germany: A Berlin – Kiel, F Kiel – Denmark, A Munich - Burgundy (*Bounce*).
Italy: F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Rome – Apulia, A Venice Hold.
Russia: A Moscow – Ukraine, F Sevastopol - Black Sea (*Bounce*), F St Petersburg(sc) - Gulf of Bothnia,
A Warsaw - Galicia.
Turkey: F Ankara - Black Sea (*Bounce*), A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Smyrna - Constantinople.
Fall 1901 Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
Hey Russia, want to split Turkey yt, Austria Hungry
and love forever.
Berlin-Rome: Care to join me on a Frog hunt?
Vienna-Rome: Sorry but I want your dots.
(Moscow) - The Czar looked down his aristocratic nose at the plebian secretary he was forced to endure. "Send those dispatches off to Austria, Germany, and Turkey immediately! Send my orders to my troops immediately as well! And don't get them mixed up!"
"Yes, Your Glorious Czarship." The humpbacked secretary bowed over and over as he walked backwards from the throne room. As soon as the door closed, he snorted, "Glorious Czarship, my ass. Oh, they'll get to the proper destination. But maybe somethings will get lost in the translations." He eyed the military orders then smiled widely, showing two missing front teeth. "Oh my...this should prove interesting."
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 3 Categories
1. A member of the Brady Bunch (character name).
2. An acronym associated with computers.
3. A small country (small in geographic size).
4. Any bone in the human body.
5. A once-popular magazine which no longer is published.
Selected Comments By Category:
Brady Bunch – Phil Murphy “Marcia is about
the only one I remember, and I never liked the series all that much. I was a
Wonder Years guy myself, with occasional 'The Waltons' episodes.”
Acronym – Kevin Wilson “A few came to mind but none seemed that great so I did a quick web search. Big mistake. I expected to see quite a few but there are hundreds! So, I decided to default to one we see multiple times every day, if we just pause to think of it.” Marc Ellinger “Is there anything with computers that isn’t an acronym?”
Small Country – Kevin Wilson “A few choices: Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, Vatican City, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, El Salvador… Not much chance here so I just picked one I could spell.” Dane Maslen “I've no idea what Americans will consider a small country. Indeed I'm none too sure what Europeans would go for as it might well depend on how they interpret 'country'..Luxembourg would be one possibility.. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City - our fine collection of micro-states - would be others.”
Bone – Kevin Wilson “Seems like a good bet to go with the longest on in the body.” Phil Murphy “Dammit Doug, I'm a teacher not a doctor.”
Magazine – Brendan Whyte “I’d say Punch for a UK audience.” Rick Desper “I can’t even think of an alternative choice [than Life].” Kevin Wilson “Not many came to mind. About the only ones I remember receiving in my past that are gone are things like OMNI, The General and maybe a gaming mag or two but a little thought LIFE came to mind. I used to subscribe to US News or Time, Newsweek, Businessweek and the like from time to time and based on seeing one or two in airports lately their current content almost suggests they should stop. Most seemed a waste of the paper they were printed on.” Dane Maslen “As a non-American I'm unlikely ever to have heard of once-popular US magazines. I hope my internet rummagings have found a plausible answer.” Phil Murphy “Never read National Lampoon magazine and only watched one or two of the movies. Too young to be honest. But I figure a few people will mention it.”
Congrats to Marc Ellinger for getting the maximum possible score for the round of 61!
Round 4 Categories – Deadline is November 29th at 7:00am my time
1. An extinct species.
2. A serial killer (real name or nickname will be considered the same answer).
3. A Canadian province.
4. A grocery store chain.
5. An island nation.
There are ten rounds of movie quotes, and each round consists of ten quotes. Anyone may enter at any point. 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 question, asking what the ten movies being quoted have in common. The player with the most correct answers each round gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2 points, and 3rd place gets 1 point. In the event of ties, multiple players get the points (if three players tie for first, they EACH get 3 points). High score at the end of ten rounds wins the game, and a prize (unless you cheated). If there’s enough participation I may give a prize for 2nd and maybe even 3rd place overall too. Quotes may contain more than one person speaking (in other words, part of a scene with more than one character talking). In those instances, quotes will separate the characters speaking. I also plan on making the 10th round worth double points.
#1. Now, here's the sum total: One gang could run this city! One gang. Nothing would move without us allowing it to happen. We could tax the crime syndicates, the police, because WE got the streets, suckers! Can you dig it? The Warriors, Correct – RD. Gangs of New York – AY. The Departed – PR.
#2. He hates these cans! Stay away from the cans! The Jerk, Correct – RD, PR
#3. “Joanna is a very unhappy woman and it took a lot of courage to walk out this door.” “How much courage does it take to walk out on your kid?” Kramer vs. Kramer, Correct – RD, JM, JB.
#4. I saw a pregnant woman on a picket line get hit in the stomach with a club. I saw a boy of sixteen shot in the back. Norma Rae, Correct – RD, JM, AY. Cinderella Man - PR
#5. I don't get married again because I can't find anyone I dislike enough to inflict that kind of torture on. All That Jazz, Correct - JB. Starting Over – RD.
#6. But, the real excitement of course is going to come at the end of the summer, during Sexual Awareness week. We import two hundred hookers from around the world, and each camper, armed with only a thermos of coffee and two thousand dollars cash, tries to visit as many countries as he can. The winner of course is named King of Sexual Awareness week and is allowed to rape and pillage the neighboring towns until camp ends. Meatballs, Correct – RD, AY, JB
#7. If you disobey the rules of society, they send you to prison. If you disobey the rules of the prison, they send you to us. Escape From Alcatraz, Correct – JM, PR, JB. Midnight Express – RD.
#8. He's all wrong for us, baby. I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man kept coming after you. Now we don't need no man like that in our lives. Rocky II, Correct – RD. Rocky IV – PR.
#9. I may be wrong, but I'd say you're lucky to be alive. For that matter, I think we might say the same for the rest of Southern California. The China Syndrome, Correct – PR, JB. The Fog – RD. Broken Arrow – JM.
#10. What the hell do you know about surfing, Major? You're from goddamned New Jersey! Apolcalypse Now, Correct – RD, BW, JM, AY, PR, JB.
Bonus: What do all these films have in common? Films of 1979, Correct – RD, JB. All Nominated For Best Picture – JM. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola – BW. Actor/Director – PR.
Scores For This Round: Rick Desper [RD] = 8. Jim Burgess [JB] = 7. Jack McHugh [JM] = 4. Paraic Reddington [PR] = 4. Andy York [AY] = 3. Brendan Whyte [BW] = 1.
Total Game Points: Rick Desper – 3; Jim Burgess – 2; Jack McHugh – 1; Paraic Reddington – 1.
#1. I've taken the liberty of anticipating your condition. I have brought you orange juice, coffee, and aspirins. Or do you need to throw up?
#2. Listen, kid. Are you gonna try and let that old Gulch heifer try and buffalo ya'? She ain't nothing to be afraid of. Have a little courage, that's all.
#3. What's the Czech for "Do you love him"?
#4. If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him. You probably inherited every penny you got!
#5. I have a head for business and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?
#6. You and me and booze - a threesome. You and I were a couple of drunks on the sea of booze, and the boat sank.
#7. We've got a fire, and if it was caused by anything you did I'm going to hang you out to dry, then I'm going to hang you.
#8. This is Madeleine. She's saying how during the French Revolution, a mob set fire to her house, and her mother died, saving her.
#9. If you ever get hungry, our garden back home is full of snails. We tried everything to get rid of them. We never thought of a Frenchman!
#10. I want to marry a pilot. I want to live my life overseas. The wife of an aviator.
Bonus: What do all these films have in common?
Deadline for your answers to Round 2: November 29th at 7:00am my time
General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine: November 29th, 2010 at 7:00am my time. See You Then!