Eternal Sunshine #56

September 2011

By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149

Email: or

On the web at – or go directly to the Diplomacy section at  Also be sure to visit the official Diplomacy World website which can be found at  Also remember to check out for official Toby the Helpful Kitty news, advice column, blog, and links to all his available merchandise!  Links to many of the books and DVDs reviewed can be found by clicking on the Amazon Store button in the main menu of the Whining Kent Pigs website.  Or go to where women can learn all the secrets of how a man’s mind works, and why they act the way they do.

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Quote Of The Month“By morning, you'll be gone.” (Joel in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine that is still officially a subzine of a zine that comes out maybe twice a year.  Let’s all give Jim-Bob a round of applause, shall we?  Oh, you forgot that he even publishes a zine?  Yeah, it’s called The Arkansas Prince or something.  I can’t recall all of the details.  I’d ask him but I don’t want to disturb his beauty sleep.


As usual, I haven’t had much time to prepare anything for Eternal Sunshine this month.  Work has been a total ass-whip, and then the weekend before the final deadline we had a guest spend a few nights.  It was a lot of fun, but it took away from the work I usually do on the zine during that time.  So you’re not going to get any long stories or essays or anything else out of me until next month (at least).  But if all goes as planned I’ll use a part of Labor Day weekend to do a piece on the Antje Duvekot show that all three of us enjoyed together.  Hmm, at least there’s a movie review in here somewhere!


So what else is in this issue?  How about appearances by Jack McHugh, Richard Walkerdine, Phil Murphy, and even an anonymous response to last month’s column by the Queen of England.  There’s the usual games, minus a couple which I have delayed due to Phil’s recent move to Kuwait.  You’ll also find entries in the Eternal Sunshine Football Contest and the Eternal Sunshine Dead Pool.  I was glad to get a decent number of entries for the latter, as I know some of you find a game like that too morbid to participate in.


Well, what can I say?  Another month gone by, another disappointing issue for all of you to loathe and ignore.  See you in October…the month of my birthday AND our anniversary!


Playlist: Exilarch – Conjure One; Purity – Mythos; The Right Place – Gary Wright; Strange Magic: The Best of The Electric Light Orchestra – ELO.



Hypothetical of the Month

Last month, we gave you these two hypotheticals: #1 – You are a prominent politician.  One of your supporters, a builder, offers to renovate your house for a very good price.  Do you accept?  #2 – You are an adoption worker.  A Native American child has been living happily with a white family for three years.  Now his relatives want to take him back to the reservation.  Do you let them?


Melinda Holley - #1 – See, this is why I rent *g*.  Seriously, no.  I would politely thank my supporter then give him a quick lecture on perceptions.


#2 - So where have these relatives been in the last 3 years?  To me, that's the deal breaker.  If they've honestly been trying to find the child or get in touch with the child, that's one thing.  But to just show up and say 'We're here and taking the kid'....oh, hell, no.  For me, I don't care what race, creed, ethnicity, or sexual orientation is involved.  The ONLY question should be is the child placed in a good loving home?  And even if the relatives HAVE been trying to reconnect with the child, I wouldn't just let them take him back because they've shown up.  They'd have to be investigated just like the potential adoptive family.


Dave McCrumb - #1 - This is not a hypothetical for me. Well…being offered a cut-rate remodeling is. When I was on the local school board I was offered several ‘deals’ on purchases as well as ‘gifts’. It was always done in a way that was deniable and could be claimed as a misunderstanding. Never money. I refused everything, including free meals and rounds of golf, because I did not want to appear to being influenced by potential suppliers.


#2 - To be honest, this question is why I hate hypothetical questions. The fine details in most of them can change the answer so dramatically. In general, I am in full support of a child living with their biological parents. In this case, however, the child was removed from the family (I am assuming as the information is not clear on this item) for three years. For that to occur the removal order must have been serious. Before allowing the return there would have to be 100% documented results that the problem had been corrected and would not reoccur. The fact that the families are native American and white (or black or oriental or green) is a red herring and should have no bearing on the case.


Richard Walkerdine - #1 - Yes I would accept the offer from the builder but would write him a letter (and keep a copy) explaining that it would give him no political favors.


#2 - I assume that the child's natural parents have a legal right to ask for him back, so I cannot refuse.


Tom Howell - #1 - "Prominent politician"?  Not, as Andy Y. would say.  Hypothetically, ... If we were already going to do a remodel, I'd have him give me a realistic market cost.  If he then wanted to turn around and contribute a legal amount of that to my campaign committee (or however it's done), it seems to me there shouldn't be any potential nasty aftershocks.


#2 - This is a tough one.  These kinds of decisions are supposed to be made in the best interests of the child.  There was a Native American working day labor for me, off and on, over a year or two, who had a daughter who had been placed with a white foster family.  The mother was white, and definitely not able to care for children.  He wanted his daughter to live with him.  I gathered he had support for that from his local relatives.  He thought that whenever he'd complied with the requirements the "system" had set for him, they'd just put up another

set of hoops for him to jump through.  He'd been a heavy drinker, but was going to AA and seemed to be trying to get his life together; though I was aware of at least one incident of his falling off the wagon.  He was a nice enough guy, and a good worker when the task was within his abilities.  I'd love to be proven wrong, but my estimation is that he'll never have the skills to be able to hold down a family wage job for any extended period.  In my experience, that seems like a prerequisite for a stable home life.  I don't know how this case has settled out, or even if it has.


Barb's work has exposed her to many similar situations.  Often the short term best situation for the child is to stay where it is.  But, over the longer term, it's harder to say.  She seems to think there are cases where the child would ultimately be better off to go back.  There is, here in Washington State, a guardian ad litem program, used by the courts, who assign a guardian ad litem to children involved in court cases, often divorces, to represent the child in court and look out for the child's best interests.  This often involves a lot of figuring out

the nature of the home life and family interactions.


So, what would I do?  I'd definitely lean heavily on the resources of a good guardian ad litem.  My final decision would be what - at the time - seems to be the course which will be most likely to lead to the child becoming a balanced, stable adult.  In other words, it could be "yes", and it could be "no".  It would depend on the situation(s).  Giving a definitive answer requires obtaining much more information than available in your problem statement.


Don Williams - #1 - No, I don’t.  Some of these questions are really stupid.  In CA, you’d never get away with this  anyway what with the reporting requirements, but that’s not the point, is it?  I work with developers all day, have been doing so for 26 years … I don’t even let them buy my lunch.


#2 - If the white family had adopted the boy, then no, I don’t return him.  Otherwise, I don’t make this decision alone/in  a vacuum.  I guess there are teams of people who would interview and analyze this issue and I guess I’d go along with whatever the majority decision is regarding what’s best for the child.  Bottom line if I had to pick, though … no, I’d leave the child in place, colors be damned.


Jack McHugh - #1 - No, I'd want his regular price.


#2 - No, I think after 3 years they should be happy with visitation.


Phil Murphy - #1 - If I'm a politician, of course I do! That goes with the territory. It's like getting favorable rates from a fellow member of the Freemasons. So long as he understands it's not for political favors in return. I'd also declare it as required.


#2 – Ooh, tough one. Yes, I would, provided the child isn't going into a dangerous situation. I may be wrong, but it's surely better for the child to grow up in his or her own culture. But like I said, tough choice.


Andy York - #1 - unless it was demonstrably a "market-rate" (though "very good") price, no. One caveat (and I have no knowledge of campaign financing rules), is if the "very good" rate's effective discount in price could

be claimed a campaign contribution, and it is reported as such, I'd consider it (though I would have to look into the impropriety issues, etc).


#2 - too many variables not defined on this one to take make an "A" or "B" answer. State laws and regulations could set time limits, current efforts by the family to adopt/not adopt, ability (and their suitability) of the relatives to effectively support the child, age of the child, (if relevant) the wishes of the child, etc.


Heather Taylor - #1 – If I was an ethical politician, then no…but since they don’t exist, of course I’d accept. 


#2 – It all depends on the circumstances as to why the child was in foster care in the first place.  There are far too many variables to answer yes or no.


For Next Month (For the time being, I am usually selecting questions from the game “A Question of Scruples” which was published in 1984 by High Games Enterprises).  Remember you can make your answers as detailed as you wish.: #1 - (From Andy Lischett) – A friend says that if you won’t go see “Mars Needs Moms” with him at the movie theater he will attack you in a current Diplomacy game.  Do you agree to go?  #2 – A gypsy curse is being put on you.  You have three choices: Loud, frequent flatulence (perhaps once every two minutes) which smells like lavender; silent flatulence about once every hour which smells horribly of rotten eggs; or a painful death sometime in the next 10 days if you fail to choose.



The Eternal Sunshine Football Prediction Contest


The contest is simple: you get one point for each correct division winner, and one point for correctly selecting the wild card teams (two per conference).  Then you get two points for each team you correctly choose as conference championship (meaning they play in the Super Bowl), and three points for correctly picking the Super Bowl winner.  We’re not picking winners for individual playoff games…just the division winners, wild card teams, and who goes to the Big Game.  And remember, like all Eternal Sunshine contests, there will actually be a REAL PRIZE for the winner!  In fact, if we get enough entries, I’ll give one to the runner-up too. 


I’ll give Kevin a few days to get me his conference and Super Bowl champions (he wasn’t the only one to leave things out, just the only one who didn’t have time to get back to me when I pointed out the omissions).




The Eternal Sunshine

Dead Pool



If I’ve missed something and one of the choices on this list has already passed away before 11:59pm on August 31st, please let me know.  In that case, I will ask for a replacement name from the player involved (a few of you supplied extra names for that purpose).  I’ll do my best to give updates on the status of the lists whenever a name “drops off,” but if you know someone on one of the lists has died as the next 12 months pass, please drop me an email!



The Dining Dead -
The Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


The Help – I’ve seen some criticism of The Help (and of the book of the same name, rejected about 40 times until author Kathryn Stockett found a publisher who thought it was any good), which generally revolves around the tired premise of the white knight coming in to rescue the downtrodden black folks and to fight for civil rights.  But while that premise is at the heart of The Help, the film never loses sight of who is taking the real chances and risking their jobs (and their lives) along the way.


Set in Jackson, Mississippi – the heart of Jim Crow country – just as the civil rights movement is beginning to simmer, the story begins its focus on Skeeter (Emma Stone), a college graduate and aspiring writer who has spent much of her childhood feeling like an outcast among the social circle of proper Jackson young women, finding husbands and having children…and then handing them off to their black maids to raise and care for, all the while considering those maids a lower form of life.


Taking on the “Hints from Heloise”-type housekeeping column at the Jackson newspaper, Skeeter approaches Aibileen (Viola Davis), a domestic working for one of her friends, for help answering some of the letters.  Aibileen is the true heroine of the film, and the only voice of narration when one is used.  Skeeter finds herself repulsed by the way the black maids continue to be treated by her generation of women, especially as Skeeter feels she was basically raised by her family’s maid (and that maid was the one person who had the kind words and encouragement she needed to help build up some self-esteem).


Eager to land a job with a publishing company in New York, Skeeter tries to convince Aibileen to tell her own story, depicting life as a black domestic – raising white children while theirs are hoem alone - in a society which is trying to pass a local ordinance forcing all homeowners to install separate bathrooms for their domestic help.  Eventually Aibileen agrees, despite the danger involved for her.  And soon her best friend Minny (Octavia Spencer) joins in to tell her stories as well.  Minny provides the best comic moments in the film, but Octavia’s portrayal does not allow the character’s sassiness to subtract from her dignity, sense of purpose, or the true risks she and Aibileen (and their other domestic friends, as the circle of contributors grows wider) are taking by allowing Skeeter to put these stories to paper.


The film has a tendency to play to emotions a bit more often than it should, but the finished product helps excuse some of those minor flaws.  The Help saves itself by refusing to overdo the supposedly heroic actions of Skeeter.  She risks a new relationship and hopes to gain a job in New York City.  The domestics of Jackson are risking everything – life and livelihood – in the hopes of showing the nation what they are going through.  And the film – and the stories of the domestics – encompass not just the bad, but the good as well, which brings even more dignity to their lives.  The characters may be black and white, but the actions are not. 


I wouldn’t call The Help a great film, but it’s a good one, and worth watching.


Seen on DVD – Saw (C, an interesting idea but the acting was TERRIBLE, and I didn’t find it suspenseful either).  The Kids Are All Right (C-, I thought this movie would be a lot better.  Mark Ruffalo usually does a great job, but he seemed as flat as everyone else).  Land of the Dead (C+, the next step in Romero’s zombie universe: they begin to think, and work together).


100 Movies to See Before You Die

An Eternal Sunshine List Challenge


Yahoo Films (part of the Yahoo online pages) has posted two lists of movies “to see before you die.”  The first list was composed of mostly classic film choices, while the “modern” list was 100 films from 1990 onward.  You can find their lists at: and at  Some of these choices I agree with, and some I think are completely off the mark.  So I issued a challenge to each of you: Submit to me the 100 Movies to See Before You Die that would make your list.  The lists could be submitted all at once, or 10 films at a time.  Any comments on your choices (or future comments on the choices of other people) are encouraged.  After 10 issues I plan on publishing a complete list of all films included on any list, as well as a count of how many lists each appeared on. I am offering prizes: two of the respondents who submit a full complement of 100 movies (whether all at once or 10 per issue) will be selected at random for prizes.  So to win, all you have to do is play.


Next issue: The fifth set of 10 movies from each of you, and from me (more movies if you missed either of the previous rounds).  Please note: These films are not meant to be placed in order by you, from top to bottom, unless you want to do that for some reason.



Paul Kent:




The Wall


Dangerous Liaisons

Glengarry Glen Ross

Mulholland Drive

West Side Story

Training Day

From Hell


Paraic Reddington:


Inglourious Basterds

It’s a Wonderful Life


King Kong

Life is Beautiful



Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python on the Life of Brian

On the Waterfront


Larry Cronin:


That Obscure Object of Desire

A Clockwork Orange

Dr. Strangelove

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

To the End of the World

The Fassbinder Trilogy (The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola, Veronika Voss)


My Dinner with Andre

Last Tango in Paris



Andy Lischett:


30. Rain Man.

31. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

32. My Cousin Vinnie. From the Ralph Macchio collection.

33. Rear Window.


On the recommendation of other ES readers I went to the library and withdrew Double Indemnity and Rear Window. DI was very good and RW is even better than I remembered. I tried to get Alien but the local library doesn't list it (!) and Blade Runner has been out for three weeks.


Kevin Wilson:


I think I previously mentioned my soft spot for those 60s & 70s romantic comedies with Cary Grant, Doris Day, or similar actors.  Here are a few more of them.  Not the greatest films ever but any list of a 100 should leave room for a few that are just fun to watch and can entertain for a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon.


Pillow Talk

Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Operation Petticoat

Move Over, Darling

Father Goose


That probably leads me to a willingness to keep watch more recent romantic comedies as well.  A few of them I found entertaining:


As Good as it Gets

Sleepless in Seattle

When Harry Met Sally

You've Got Mail

The Love of the Game


The last isn't really a romantic comedy but does have some funny parts but makes up for that with baseball.


Rick Desper:


Going with police films here - of the non-Western variety…


Bullitt - the famous car chase, but there's a lot more here.  McQueen pulls of a taciturn performance that few people could do.


Prime Suspect - I don't care if it was for British TV.  Helen Mirren's best role.


The French Connection - an excellent film based on a true story. 


Dirty Harry - really an excellent film. 


Beverly Hills Cop - because Eddie Murphy deserves to be on the list. 


The Taking of Pelham One Two Three - the original with Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw


Gorky Park - I really like this film.  Based on an excellent book.  William Hurt is a Russian cop. 


The Departed - haven't seen the original Woo film it was based on.  Also, I have a fondness for Boston films.


Heat - a very enjoyable film.  Certainly Michael Mann's best, and the scene between DeNiro and Pacino is legendary.


Silence of the Lambs - kicked off the serial killer phase of the 90s.  Best of the bunch (even though Se7en is very good, too.) 


Jack McHugh:


This month's list is war movies in particular order:


1.    The Longest Day--wonderful movie with an all star cast. Check out the French commandos attacking and taking the beach casino, it was all done in ONE TAKE--pretty impressive.

2.    Saving Private Ryan--set new standard in realism and has a great cast and story.

3.    Enemy Mine--great sci-fi movie but a great war movie as well.

4.    The Enemy Below--one of the best submarine movies ever made. Robert Mitchum & Curt Jurgens are wonderful as two captains engaged in a deadly game of wits.

5.    Das Boot--another great submarine movie despite the overacting of some of the cast its a great flick.

6.    Sahara--Humphrey Bogart is terrific as a tank commander with a great supporting cast.

7.    Battleline--yeah its kind of cliche but a great movie

8.    Pork Chop Hill-Gregory Peck produced and financed the best Korean War movie

9.    Twelve O'clock High--Great cast and great acting.

10.  Paths of Glory--Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick, best anti-war, war movie of all time.


…and since I already used Private Ryan, I’ll go off topic and say The Odd Couple.


Heather Taylor:


Fried Green Tomatoes


The Goonies

Chasing Amy

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Inglorious Basterds

Reservoir Dogs

Army of Darkness


Dealing Dogs



Brad Wilson:


LoTR: The Two Towers


Wild Strawberries

The Hunt for Red October

From Russia With Love

All the President's Men

Pale Rider

The Magnificent Seven (if only for the score)


The Gods Must Be Crazy


Jim Burgess:


Annie Hall


North by Northwest

The Usual Suspects

Blade Runner

12 Angry Men

To Kill a Mockingbird


Blazing Saddles

Time After Time


Kevin Tighe:


This time I'll concentrate on foreign films.  And by that I mean non-American films.


1.    M -  German movie from Fritz Lang with a young Peter Lorre.

2.    Yojimbo - Later remade with Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns.

3.    Sanjuro - Also later remade with Eastwood.

4.    A Brief Vacation - An overworked Italian woman gets sent to the Alps for a rest (now THAT is socialized medicine).  Charming film.

5.    The Sacrifice - A Russian existential story about people in a village who hear the atomic bombs will be flying by morning.  A man asks a witch to prevent it at any cost to him.  It's the old "if nothing that you do matters, then the only thing that does matter is what you do" fable.

6.    Walkabout - by NIcholas Roeg.

7.    Picnic At Hanging Rock

8.    Gallipoli - both films by Peter Weir.  This one is based on the needless sacrifice of Australian troops in the WWI battle in Turkey.

9.    In Bruges - The newest film on the list.  Gives a lot of laughs, very violent and very funny.

10.  Life of Brian - I think it's more about British politics than religion.


Doug Kent:


Trading Places


Shallow Grave

The Usual Suspects

The Verdict

The Fugitive

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Welcome to the Dollhouse

When Harry Met Sally



You Don't Know Me

The Eternal Sunshine Interview


Again, no interview this month…no appropriate person came up, and the one on the backburner has been too busy to do her part.  But Tom Howell gave me someone he thought might be a good subject, so I’ll try contacting them in a few days and possibly put that in the next issue!


In the meantime, I really need some suggestions for future interviews.  They need to be people not involved in the Diplomacy hobby.  That is the only requirement.  They can have any kind of job, or be retired, unemployed…none of that matters.  Just someone you know who you think might make an interesting subject for other readers; I’ve underlined that because one reader didn’t quite understand what I have been asking.  I am looking for suggestion of people YOU know that I don’t…then you can make the introduction and I can interview them. 


I don’t think I’ve gotten more than a single suggestion from anyone since I started this section, aside from the one mentioned above and one from Andy York.  So get with it!



23 Tunes!


23 Tunes Game

Here are the rules for 23 TUNES. You send me three tunes for the first turn, and then two tunes in each of the last ten turns for a total of 23. If you missed the first turn, you can still catch up by sending five tunes next issue, and guess on submitters to this issue. Actually, you can send all 23 tunes at once if you want to, but then you’ll need to remember to guess everyone else’s each month.  I am also submitting my tunes. After we're done, I'd like to exchange CD's/Tapes for as many of the tunes players as possible, but this is not required. I'll be sending the winner my 23 Tune list. The winner is determined by having you guess each issue who submitted what list (I will tell you who the submitters are). For each song you get right (except those you submitted yourself), you get a point, you also can win bonus points from me for really cool tune selections. That's it, not complicated. I hope by starting this up, we'll get more to join. So, put simply…you send in the name and artist of songs you really like or have special meaning to you.  I print 3 of them the first turn, and 2 year turn after that (you can submit that way, or send in all 23 at once, or anything in between).  Each issue I list the songs for that turn, without revealing who submitted which song.  I also print a list of who submitted songs (again, without telling you which songs they sent in).  Your mission is to match the people with the songs (but no points for your own).  Simple.  And I’ll offer other prizes as well, to be determined later.  If you miss a turn, make it up my sending enough songs to catch up with the other players (and the overdue songs will simply be revealed immediately).


23 Tunes - Round Six


Submitting songs this issue are: Andy Lischett, Mark Firth, Andy York, David McCrumb, Douglas Kent, Geoff Kemp, Hank Alme, Heather Taylor, Jim Burgess, Martin Burgdorf, Paraic Reddington, Amber Smith, Phil Murphy, Richard Walkerdine. 


1.    California Girls - David Lee Roth: Andy Lischet.  Correct: GK.

2.    Caught Up in You - 38 Special: Amber Smith.

3.    Does Your Mother Know – ABBA: Amber Smith.  Richard Walkerdine “All ABBA songs were great but the later ones were better, though this was one of the best of their bubble pop era.”

4.    Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop: Douglas Kent.

5.    Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys: Andy Lischett.  Richard Walkerdine “Probably the best song they ever made, and they made a lot.”  Correct: PR.

6.    Hammond Song – Colourfield: Mark Firth.  Martin Burgdorf “Isn’t that the band of the former guy from Fun Boys Three?  I liked “Tunnel of Love.”  Correct: RW, JB. 

7.    Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix: Richard Walkerdine “Bought in by the record company to get it in the charts but what a way to start - and I saw him live!”  Martin Burgdorf “A classic.”

8.    I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor: Richard Walkerdine “Brilliant singing and a theme for which I hugely congratulate her.”

9.    Il Pagliaci - Ruggero Leoncavallo: Paraic Reddington “Paint on your smile, turn out the lights and weep.”

10.  Intermezzo / Cavalleria Rusticana - Pietro Mascagni: Paraic Reddington “Another lights out tune – hard to listen to without thinking ‘Godfather’ but exceptional nonetheless.”

11.  Into the Mystic - Van Morrison: Heather Taylor.  Correct: GK.

12.  Let Your Love Flow - The Bellamy Brothers: Douglas Kent.  Correct: AL.

13.  Mercy – Duffy: Phil Murphy “A great chanteuse. Really soulful.”

14.  More Than This - Roxy Music: Hank Alme.  Correct: JB.

15.  Rehab - Amy Winehouse: Phil Murphy “Sad to hear that she's passed away. Grear music, shame about the lifestyle.”  Richard Walkerdine “Well we all knew she wouldn't practice what she preached, didn't we?”  Martin Burgdorf “But she did not die from a drug overdose, did she?”  Correct: PR.

16.  Saturday Night at the Duckpond – Cougars: Geoff Kemp.

17.  Space Junk – Devo: Martin Burgdorf.

18.  Sweet Blue Cage - Richard Barone: Jim Burgess.

19.  Take Me Home Country Roads - John Denver: Dave McCrumb.  Correct: MB.

20.  Taking Tiger Mountain – Eno: Martin Burgdorf “Named after a Chinese film during the cultural revolution.”

21.  Tearin' it Down – Hansen: Andy York.

22.  Those Who Wait for the Lord - Pat Quinn: Andy York.

23.  Tiny Dancer - Elton John: Heather Taylor.  Correct: AL.

24.  Unforgiving Skies - PO90: Mark Firth.  Correct: RW, MB.

25.  Where Have All the Cowboys Gone - Paula Cole: Geoff Kemp.

26.  White Room – Cream: Hank Alme.  Martin Burgdorf “Another classic.”

27.  Who's Landing in My Hangar - Human Switchboard: Jim Burgess.

28.  Will the Circle Be Unbroken - Johnny and June Carter Cash: Dave McCrumb.  Correct: MB.


Scores This Round – Martin Burgdorf [MB] – 3; Jim Burgess [JB] – 2; Paraic Reddington [PR] – 2; Geoff Kemp [GK] – 2; Andy Lischett [AL] – 2; Richard Walkerdine [RW] - 2.


Total Scores (of those who submitted at least some guesses in any round): Paraic Reddington [PR] – 20; Martin Burgdorf [MB] – 20; Andy Lischett [AL] – 18; Geoff Kemp [GK] – 17; Jim Burgess [JB] – 15; Richard Walkerdine [RW] – 14; Phil Murphy [PM] – 10; Mark Firth [MF] – 7; Brendan Whyte [BW] – 7; Melinda Holley [MH] – 6; Hank Alme [HA] – 6; Kevin Tighe [KT] – 6; Chris Babcock [CB] – 5; Marc Ellinger [ME] – 4; Amber Smith [AS] – 1. 

23 Tunes - Round Seven


Submitting songs this issue are: Andy Lischett, Andy York, David McCrumb, Douglas Kent, Geoff Kemp, Hank Alme, Heather Taylor, Jim Burgess, Martin Burgdorf, Amber Smith, Richard Walkerdine, Rick Desper. 


First, Rick Desper gives us two songs he didn’t submit last month: Mad World by Gary Jules, and What’s the Matter Here? By 10,000 Maniacs.


1.    Baby it's Cold Outside - Ray Charles and Betty Carter

2.    Baby, Now That I’ve Found You - Alison Krauss

3.    Battle Hymn of the Republic - Traditional

4.    Black Coffee in Bed - Squeeze

5.    Cold Shot - Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

6.    Dance With the Devil - Braking Benjamin

7.    Fortunate Fool - Jack Johnson

8.    Have You Ever Seen The Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival

9.    Hiroshima mon Amou - John Foxx

10.  James Brown - Cabaret Voltaire

11.  Jet Airliner - Steve Miller Band

12.  Lovesong - The Cure

13.  Night of the Vampire - Moontrekkers

14.  Power in the Darkness - The Tom Robinson Band

15.  She's Not There - Santana

16.  Sunny Came Home - Shawn Colvin

17.  The Bounty Hunter - Mike Cross

18.  The Motorcycle Song - Arlo Guthrie

19.  Tooty Fruity - Little Richard

20.  Uptown Girl - Billy Joel

21.  Wake Up It's a Beautiful Morning- The Boo Radleys

22.  We Didn't Start The Fire - Billy Joel

23.  When Johnny Comes Marching Home - Traditional

24.  You Can Leave Your Hat On - Joe Cocker


Deadline for the next round of 23 Tunes is September 26th at 7pm my time.

That’s the day BEFORE the regular zine deadline.



Meet Me In Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Kevin Wilson: I have a friend who runs a dead pool (stop me if I mentioned this already).  He uses a slightly different structure.  It runs from 1/1/xx to 12/31/xx.  You select 10.  If one of your selection dies, you get points equal to 100 minus their age.  At the end of the year, the person with the most points wins.  You also name a captain for your list and if your captain dies you get 5 bonus points.  With this approach you toss in a couple of long shots for the points.  With your approach, you just try to select 10 old, sick or at risk folks.  Kind of morbid either way.


[[It isn’t exactly a “fun” game…more luck and making thoughtful choices.  But I find it an interesting mental exercise.]]


Dave McCrumb: Football Predictions:


ACC – Virginia Tech

Big 12 – Oklahoma

Big East – West Virginia

Big 10 – Wisconsin

Conf USA – Central Florida

MAC – Northern Illinois

Mountain West – Boise State

SEC – Alabama

Sun Belt – Troy

Pac 12 – Oregon

WAC – Hawaii

National Champion – Alabama

[Note: The NFL is for spoiled primadonnas.]


As for the Dead Pool, I refuse to participate as I consider this in bad taste. I understand your logic – I just disagree with it.


The 23 Tunes contest has got me thinking - How does everyone think the current practice of buying ‘singles’ electronically will impact the music business? Or am I misunderstanding and they still make and sell albums electronically? I rarely bought albums/CDs in the past for one song but it has happened on 3-5 occasions. In ALL cases the song for which I originally purchased it was at best my 3rd favorite on the album. I believe it expanded by music enjoyment. Without purchasing albums, will this affect a broader exploration of music in the future?


[[I agree that the purchase of singles instead of albums will in many cases limit the enjoyment of music.  However, I’ve found that for the independent artists I am most fond of these days, this actually helps them because people rarely only purchase one song from them.  Instead they usually give a “single” away for free to entice you to buy the whole product.  Mainstream music doesn’t often produce a full album worth listening to anyway.]]


Jim Burgess: I think you should end Movie Quotes, while I love them (and I love your choice of prize), it really distracts me from writing and engaging with other things.  I think you should at least give it a rest, unless you come up with a new way to do it (e.g. what actor/actress says this line?).




I'm working on my Dead Pool, you won't get that until last minute, as we try to optimize our choices.  I hate football, I hate football, but maybe I'll send you predictions to keep my ESI up.


Andy Lischett: I think I sent you a short batch of movies with The Twisting Tale chapter. If not: 30. Rainman, 31. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 32. From the Ralph Macchio collection: My Cousin Vinnie, 33. Rear Window (I got this at the library and had forgotten how good it is).


I don't know if I'll come up with seven more by the deadline. I don't know if there are 40 movies which one MUST see before dying. Maybe the time would be better spent painting the Sistine Chapel or painting the garage. Or helping a neighbor, or walking the dog, or planting trees, or harpooning whales. Maybe Napoleon wouldn't have conquered Europe if he'd had HBO. Maybe HBO is preventing one of your readers from conquering Europe. Maybe this should be a future Scruples question: Your best friend says that if you won't go with him to see "Mars Needs Moms" he will ravage Europe. Do you go to the movie?


[[I used it, slightly edited.]]


Please tell Don Williams that the motorcycle that Steve McQueen stole from a German soldier in The Great Escape, and on which he jumped over barbed wire attempting to get into Switzerland was a Triumph (as was Marlon Brando's bike in The Wild One). Historic accuracy is great, but I'll forgive McQueen for using an English motorcycle, because German BMWs and Zundapps couldn't jump over a paper clip.


At the recommendations of others of your readers I want to see or re-see (besides Alien and Blade Runner) Bringing Up Baby, Time After Time and The Maltese Falcon, but Carol is rebelling. She enjoyed Dial M for Murder, Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Rear Window, but when we went to a video store last Saturday and I started to look for another Hitchcock movie, she said, "No, I want something fun. Maybe Secretariat." "What?" said I, "Frenzy isn't fun?" "Or maybe," Carol said, "Tammy and The Doctor."


[[Kill me now…]]


So we rented Secretariat. Line-by-line predictable, but okay. I'm not a horse racing fan, but I remembered the final race of the Triple Crown back in 1973, which was cool.


Maybe #34 will be Frankenstein, the original.


Rick Desper: My football predictions:


NFC East: Giants

I don't think Vick replicates last year's success. 


NFC North: Packers

best team in NFC


NFC South: Saints

Could be Falcons.  *shrug*


NFC West: Rams

I'll say they're on the right track. 


Wildcards: Falcons, Eagles


AFC East: Pats


AFC North: Steelers

I still think Flacco holds back the Ravens too much.


AFC South: Colts

Hard to pick anybody else, really.  Texans need to show me something.  Titans need a good QB, Jags are just bad.


AFC West: Chargers

Rivers is so much better than the other QBs in this division.



AFC: Jets, Texans


Kicking the Ravens out because I didn't want to pick exactly the same 6.  Ravens offense continues to underwhelm.  Texans had a great offense last year.  I'll count on Wade Phillips and offseason pick-ups to be enough to get them into the playoffs. 


Allison Kent: They do a death pool at work that I do not participate in, but they give you points based on how old the person is when they die vs. 100.  In other words, if someone on your list is 99 when they die, you get one point.  If they are 27, you get 73.  I think that makes sense since it is easier to guess that 3 90+ are going to die this year than to be correct that one 27 year old will.  Also, they say you cannot choose someone if they already have a life threatening illness that is known about (cancer, aides, etc.).  Let me know your thoughts.


[[I just prefer not to let age enter into it regarding scoring.  That seems a bit too specific, which makes it additionally morbid.]]


Michael Moulton: My full picks…


NFC East - Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins

NFC North - Packers, Vikings, Bears, Lions

NFC South - Falcons, Saints, Bucs, Panthers

NFC West - Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams

AFC East - Patriots, Dolphins, Jets, Bills

AFC North - Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Bengals

AFC South - Colts, Titans, Texans, Jaguars

AFC West - Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs

More Jim Burgess: I've selected my people in categories.


First, REALLY old people who should die sometime soon: Silent film actress Barbara Kent (selected because of her last name, any relation??; the only movie of hers I've seen is Oliver Twist), Writer Jacques Barzun (I own some of his books, and have even read a few of them... ;-)  God's Country and Mine and The House of Intellect should be read by all of you!); Composer Elliott Carter, musicians tend to live a long time, so I won't win with him, but he's getting REALLY old, but he's still writing those wonderfully complex rhythms; everybody's going to have Dolores Hope, but she's still going strong, probably even still singing!; Ron Coase, probably the oldest living great economist, his Coase theorem is a mainstay of my field, may not be famous to you, but he is to me.


Then a couple of entertainers in the news:


Jerry Lewis got kicked off the Telethon, he's in trouble.... how can he stay alive much longer?


Zsa Zsa Gabor, who's been in the news for being sick.


And then two people everyong thinks are dead and aren't:


Ernest Borgnine


Jean-Paul Belmondo


Lastly, we need an architect;


I.M. Pei


Dane Maslen: My Dead Poll list, with some comments:


1. Colonel Gaddafi - I'm gambling on the possibility that he will stay in Libya and fight to the (i.e. his own) bitter end.


2. Hosni Mubarak - two chances here: natural causes or execution.


3. Ronnie Biggs


4. Zsa Zsa Gabor


5. Kirk Douglas


6. Yitzhak Shamir


7. Kim Jong-il - his age wouldn't suggest it, but the ongoing rumours about his health and the sudden rise to prominence last year of his son suggest that he might be a contender.


8. Denis Healey


9. Ray Bradbury


10 Margaret Thatcher - an element of wishful thinking here (as well as in 1 and 7, which causes me to think of a reworking of an old joke that goes "Q: You're in a room with Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Jeremy Beadle.   Who do you shoot and why?" (I should explain for your benefit that Jeremy Beadle is a much unloved British TV personality)  "A: Jeremy Beadle.  Twice.  Just to make sure.").


Jack McHugh: My full football picks, by division.


NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins.

NFC North: Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions. Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears 

NFC South: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers,  Tampa Bay Bucs,

NFC West: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams.

AFC East: , New York Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins. Buffalo Bills.

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns.

AFC South: Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars.

AFC West: San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders. Kansas City Chiefs.

Andy York: Regarding the comment on my LOC last time (ref "Tree of Life"), I've not seen "The Fountain" so I can't say. However, on my ever-growing "to do" list is to get the rest of the director's movies to watch.


And, how can you not see the connection between Pinocchio and cricket batters (ref Walkerdine's LOC). Pinocchio had Jimminy Cricket as a moral guide, thus discussing cricket is perfectly reasonable to anyone crazy enough to understand the "sport" (if you can call it that).


[[Hmmm, I thought I was being sarcastic.  Maybe it didn’t read that way.]]


Since you mention the Runestone Poll, when will that be added to the Whining Pig empire?


[[I guess when there are more than a handful of zines left!]]


More Jim Burgess: You often ask about the games, I do like participating but don't like being the "key participator".  I managed to "get inside your head" on much of the Movie Quotes, but I really, really don't want to see a new game be more of the same.  I didn't see why others couldn't focus on the "common factor" and once you get that you can get a lot of the movies.  Plus, I enjoyed using at as a Netflix/library look through on old movies that I like, seeing movies that I think might be ones quoted with the list in front of me and finding the quotes.


But clearly most others didn't do that, so you shouldn't play the same game.  I also think you should do something that CANNOT be cheated on via Internet searches.  Early on, before the rules were clearer I did some things that broke what you thought were the rules (though not what I thought they were).  I'd rather you think of a game that lets people search, but then goes beyond that and makes people see movies again.  So, it can't be anything that's in  I don't yet know precisely what that is, but it might look something like this.  You ask a trivia question (that you test with Google to know you can't search it and find the answer) where the answer to the question is the class of movies.  Then you have something after that that we have to do... maybe it is something about the cinematography in a certain scene?  Maybe about something people do (not say)?  I don't know, but something like that that makes me spend a month seeing John Wayne movies or movies that won Soundtrack Oscars.  But allow everyone to look up the list of possible movies so they know which ones to go see that they don't know.


[[I would like to continue them, in some form, but I’ll need some time and a clear head to figure out how.  Eventually they’ll return.  For now you get a break from your obsession.]]






by Richard Walkerdine


In last month’s ‘Heartthrobs’ I included Selina King. 


It was a spoof. There is no such singer and I put it in because I was sure I could get away with it. I really hope that most of you (especially Doug, of course) fell for it. The picture is of some Kuwaiti singer (can’t remember her name) and the words were a complete fabrication – and I never did get to see Amen Corner perform live, dammit.


But the full story of Selina goes back to the 1970s. Our friend Steve Doubleday was visiting for an evening meal and, as usual, the conversation centred on games and Diplomacy. One of us (can’t remember now if it was me, Steve or Claire) thought up this imaginary girl called Selina King and, with the help of the address of a friend who wasn’t in the games hobby, I said I would play as her in a couple of games in other zines. Nobody guessed and it went on for a couple of years, in fact in one game ‘Selina’ and Pete Birks had quite an intimate exchange of letters.


But after a couple of years Steve was visiting again and we had the radio on. It was the usual format of a local radio station playing some records and taking phone-in calls from listeners. A woman phoned and the DJ asked her name. “Selina King,” was the reply.


We looked at each other almost in horror. “My goodness,” one of us said. “We invented her and she’s real!”


I never played as her again. But I couldn’t resist this one last opportunity to use the name.




by Richard Walkerdine


A woman in a supermarket was walking behind an elderly gentleman and his badly behaved three year old grandson. It was obvious he had his hands full with the child screaming for sweets in the sweet aisle, biscuits in the biscuit aisle and fruit, cereals and soda pop in the other aisles.


 Granddad was slowly working his way around, saying in a very controlled voice, “Easy William, we won’t be long, easy boy.”


There was another outburst and she heard him say, “It’s okay William, just a couple more minutes and we’ll be out of here. Hang in there boy.”


At the checkout the little terror started throwing things out of the cart and granddad just said, again in a very controlled voice, “William, William, relax buddy, don’t get upset. We’ll be home in five minutes. Stay cool William.”


The woman was very impressed and followed the pair outside where granddad was loading the groceries and the boy into his car.


She walked up to him and said, “I know it’s none of my business but I thought you were amazing in there. I don’t know how you did it but the whole time you kept your composure and no matter how noisy and disruptive he got you just kept calmly saying everything would be okay. William is so lucky to have you as his granddad.”


The elderly gentleman smiled. “Thanks,” he replied, “but actually I’m William – the little shit’s name is Jim.”




by Richard and Claire Walkerdine


As I’ve said before when I do one of these I show it to Claire and usually get a sigh and a dirty look as a response. So last month I suggested to her that she could do one of her own. She agreed and gave me a list of guys she fancies (quite a long list actually, cheeky monkey). I found some suitable pics and got some of the historical bits and pieces and then Claire has added her own words to explain why they are her heartthrobs. But just to make it crystal clear, these are from my good lady wife and NOT from me!.


First on the list, at Claire’s insistence, has to be Clint Eastwood.


(Richard’s bit) He was born in 1930 and first came to fame in the 60s playing Rowdy Yates in the TV cowboy series Rawhide. Then he became even more famous later in the 60s as The Man With No Name in the Dollar films (and they were good films), followed by the tough cop Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films of the 70s and 80s. Many more films were to follow (I still think Pale Rider is one of my favourites) and in total he has appeared in more than 50. He also branched out into both producing and directing, winning Oscars for best director and best picture for both Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby (both absolute classics). As well as his film work he went into politics, being elected Mayor of his home town Carmel, California in 1986. A truly long and illustrious career. But now it’s over to Claire.


(Claire’s bit) Tall, rangy, sexy and with a calm but rasping voice – and that intense green eyed stare. What girl could resist?  I have always preferred him in his cowboy roles to that of the hard bitten cop. Somehow he just suits the rugged environment and anyway he always looks good on a horse!


Clint has proved himself to be a great director over the years choosing such diverse subjects as ‘Bird’, ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ and ‘Bridges of Madison County’ as examples. He is also one of the very few people who have grown more attractive with age (unlike most of us).


Claire has instructed me that next on the list is Sean Bean


(Richard’s bit) Born in 1959 and a film, stage and TV actor. He appeared in several minor film roles on the 1980s but really came to fame in his starring role as Richard Sharpe, a series that ran on TV for 16 series between 1993 and 2008 and portrays a rough and tough Yorkshire soldier who rises through the ranks of the British army in the 1800s, fighting in the Peninsular War, Waterloo and even in India. In the long series he rises from Sergeant to eventually become a Lieutenant Colonel. It is a very good series.


He has also appeared in many films, perhaps the most famous as Boromir in the first two of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (in which he first tried to steal The One Ring but of course eventually died as a hero defending the Hobbits). Right, over to Claire.


(Claire’s bit) Again another man in whom I am very interested. He is not very tall but is perfectly formed with a really sexy smile and that all important intense stare. He too has a very recognisable voice, soft and gentle with an unmistakable Sheffield accent.

Sean has proved himself to be an excellent actor, appearing in many films, plays and TV series over the years. But perhaps best as Richard Sharpe – a tough but very sensitive soldier in the Napoleonic Wars – and as a true James Bond villain in ‘Golden Eye’. He is a master of characterisation playing such diverse roles.


And now I am instructed to add Johnny Depp.


(Richard’s bit) Born in 1963 and originally a musician and then an actor. He started playing guitar in various rock bands in the 1980s but then switched to acting and achieved his first major role in the classic horror movie A Nightmare On Elm Street. Many more films were to follow including the iconic 1990 film Edward Scissorhands. But he is probably best known for his starring role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates Of The Caribbean films – of which he has made four between 2003 and 2011.

In 2007 his eight year old daughter Lily-Rose had a serious kidney disease and had an extended stay at the children’s hospital at Great Ormond Street in London. She made a full recovery and later that year he visited the hospital, in full Jack Sparrow costume, and spent four hours reading stories to the kids. The next year he donated two million dollars to the hospital as a way of saying thanks.


While filming the latest Pirates movie in London in 2010 he received a letter from a nine year old schoolgirl asking if he would help her organise a mutiny against her teachers. He turned up, again in full Jack Sparrow costume, and gave the kids a short talk when he advised them that a mutiny was not a good idea. The kids loved it, the little girl loved it and the teachers loved it. In fact the school took a thirty minute break so that all the kids could come and see him. There was a video of the incident on the BBC website, but I don’t know if it’s still there.  All in all he seems to be a nice guy. Claire next.


(Claire’s bit) What can I say? Other than being drop dead gorgeous, funny, eccentric and totally fascinating he is also a brilliant actor.


Who else could play a gay pirate (with an interesting accent), a boyman with scissorhands, the writer of Peter Pan (the eternal boy child) and a singing barber with blood lust?  He also appears to be a very decent, kind and generous man as shown by the comments made by Richard. One for the books as far as I am concerned.






























Eternal Sunshine Index – ESI

A Scientific Measure of Zine Health

Current Index: 49.24 -0.55%



The Eternal Sunshine Index is a stock-market-like index of the zineYou don’t do anything in this game, except write press or commentary on price movements (or why you think your stock should have gone up or down).  I move the prices beginning with next issue based on my own private formula of quantity and quality zine participation (NMR’s, press, columns, etc.).  Any new zine participants become new issues valued at at 50, but the stock for anyone who disappears will remain listed.  The average of all listed stocks will result in the ESI closing value each month, which will be charted issue to issue after we have a few months’ worth of data.  If you don’t like the stock symbol I have assigned you, you may petition the exchange to change it.  Blame Phil Murphy for suggesting this section to me.


Market Commentary: The markets churned this issue, while it seems a list of “The Usual Suspects” gain nicely or drop quickly every issue.  The middle of the pack generally moves higher, but overall the index drops.




% +/-

AJK - Allison Kent



ALM - Hank Alme



AMB - Amber Smith



AND - Lance Anderson



BAB - Chris Babcock



BIE - John Biehl



BRG - Martin Burgdorf



BWD - Brad Wilson



CAK - Andy Lischett



CAL - Cal White



CHC - Chuy Cronin



CIA - Tom Swider



CKW - Kevin Wilson



CKY - Carol Kay



DAN - Dane Maslen



DBG - David Burgess



DTC - Brendan Whyte



DUK - Don Williams



FRD - Fred Wiedemeyer



FRG - Jeremie Lefrancois



FRT - Mark Firth



GRA - Graham Wilson



HDT - Heather Taylor



HLJ - Harley Jordan



HPL - Hugh Polley



JOD - Jeff O'Donnell



KMP - Geoff Kemp



KVT - Kevin Tighe



LAT - David Latimer



LCR - Larry Cronin



MCC - David McCrumb



MCR - Michael Cronin



MIM - Michael Moulton



MRC - Marc Ellinger



OTS - Tom Howell



PER - Per Westling



PJM - Phil Murphy



QUI - Michael Quirk



RAC - Robin ap Cynan



RDP - Rick Desper



REB - Melinda Holley



RED - Paraic Reddington



SAK - Jack McHugh



TAP - Jim Burgess



VOG - Pat Vogelsang



WAY - W. Andrew York



WLK - Richard Walkerdine



WWW - William Wood



YLP - Paul Milewski





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

By Jack “Flapjack” McHugh –

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

Issue #34




Still no job, and my unemployment ran out too.  I don’t know why they haven’t bothered to foreclose on the house yet.  Maybe Michael Vick can help me out with some of the $100 million contract they just laid on him.  We’ve got dogs ya know.  Anyway this will be short and depressing, as always.  If I can offend someone at least that will make it a minor success.


A cowboy from Texas attended a social function where Barack Obama was trying to gather support for his Health Plan. When Obama discovered the cowboy was from President Bush's home area, he started to belittle him by talking in a southern drawl and single syllable words.

As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The cowboy says, "Y'all havin' some problem with them circle flies?"

Obama stopped talking and said, "Well, yes, if that's what they're called, but I've never heard of circle flies."

"Well, sir," the cowboy replies, "Circle flies hang around ranches. They're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

"Oh," Obama replies as he goes back to rambling. But, a moment later he stops and bluntly asks, "Are you calling me a horse's ass?"

"No, sir," the cowboy replies, "I have too much respect for the citizens of this country to call their president a horse's ass."

"That's a good thing," Obama responds and begins rambling on once more.

After a long pause, the cowboy, in his best Texas drawl says, "Hard to fool them flies, though."


After a long night of making love, the guy notices a photo of another man, on the woman's nightstand.


He nervously asks, "Is this your husband?"


"No, silly," she replies.


"Your boyfriend, then?" he continues.


"No, not at all," she says.


"Is it your brother?" he inquires, hoping to be reassured.


"No, no, no! You are so hot when you're jealous!" she answers.


"Well, who in the hell is he, then?" he demands.


She whispers in his ear, "That's me before the surgery.”


A little old lady went to the grocery store to buy cat food. She picked up four cans and took them to the checkout counter.


The girl at the cash register said, "I'm sorry, but we cannot sell you cat food without proof that you have a cat. A lot of old people buy cat food to eat, and the management wants proof that you are buying the cat food for your cat."


The little old lady went home, picked up her cat and brought it back to the store. They sold her the cat food. The next day, she tried to buy two cans of dog food. Again the cashier said "I'm sorry, but we cannot sell you dog food without proof that you have a dog. A lot of old people buy dog food to eat, but the management wants proof that you are buying the dog food for your dog."


So she went home and brought in her dog. She then was able to buy the dog food.


The next day she brought in a box with a hole in the lid. The little old lady asked the cashier to stick her finger in the hole. The cashier said, "No, you might have a snake in there."


The little old lady assured her that there was nothing in the box that would harm her. So the cashier put her finger into the box and pulled it out. She said to the little old lady, "That smells like shit."


The little old lady said, "It is. I want to buy three rolls of toilet paper."


So........... Don't mess with old people.



This photo is an accurate representation of my life right now, every single day when I wake up.  I refer to it as “The Moment Just Before the Pain Began.” 








The Twisting Tale


This is a rotating story, with a different author every issue, and a chapter of 500 words.  If you’d like to participate, please email me and let me know, and I’ll let you know when your turn comes up.  We need more particpants!  Email me at if you’d like to participate!


Chapter 6 by Andy Lischett


The man with the bashed crab face closed the peach door and said, "What?"

"Excuse me?"

"What do you want? Beethoven's tenth what? You said, 'Beethoven's 10th' like I should know what you want, but it doesn't mean anything to me. I mean, I'm not a record store or anything, but I like Beethoven. Haydn, too. He was Beethoven's teacher, did you know what? Beethoven wanted Mozart but he died first. Some people like Mozart better than Beethoven, but they're nuts. Nobody's better than Lugwig... except maybe Bach. My favorite Beethoven symphony is #7, conducted by Carlos Klieber is the best, but you must mean a sonata or concerto or something because he only wrote nine symphonies. But like I said I don't sell music or anything, so I was wondering what you want. Mozart wrote 42 symphonies and Haydn wrote 106 but any of Beethoven's is better than Mozart's best. Just my opinion."

"I... Uh, the guy at Wendy's said to come here and give you a password and you'd help me."

"With what? With music? Have a seat. You want a lemonade or water? I don't know anyone at Wendy's, I sometimes talk with the manager at the Burger King if they're slow, but I don't think we've ever discussed music. Hispanics don't like classical stuff, I don't think, but then maybe they do. Carlos Klieber was from Argentina or Switzerland. Anyway, I don't know how I can help you, or what I can help you with. A password, huh? Why do you need a password?"

"Then why'd you let me in?"

"Why not? You look like an okay guy, and you were letting the air conditioning out. Nothing against Japs, but let them use up Starbucks air conditioning. And they can keep the coffee stink, too. I used to like the smell of coffee, growing up, when my mom had it in the morning, but all day long every day gets wearisome. Only Mom drank coffee, Dad was strictly orange juice. Me, I prefer tea. Or lemonade. Do you want some? You never answered me."

"No, thanks. The Wendy's is in New Mexico. Can I use you phone?"


"Where's my car, Sweetie? Is your Honda fixed yet? I think they've had it for about a decade."

"The Austin Healey is fine. I parked it in a safe place. I've kind of got a problem."

"Crap. My car was towed to the moldiest corner of a basement garage of a New Mexico public works building next to a street sweeper and is probably full of dead scorpions. The fine folk at the Truth or Consequences police department say I can come right over and get it in maybe two or three years after you've been convicted of murder. Oh, did you say you have a problem?"

"I stopped at a bar after work on Thursday and had a few beers..."

"A few."

"... and after a while this nervous guy in a plaid shirt came in and started telling me he doesn't have the 'stuff' and begged me to get 'Joe' off his back."

"What stuff? Who's Joe?"

"I don't know. I told him I don't know about any Joe or his stuff but he wasn't listening and started getting frantic and loud. I tried to leave but he followed me outside and blocked my car door and I pushed him aside, then he grabbed my keys and threw them in the bushes behind the bar. So I got mad and said I was going to tell Joe that he's an asshole and he got even more frantic, saying he'd find my keys but I had to help him with Joe. Then he ran back toward the bushes as I stood by my car, and I heard noises back there, but he never came back, so I walked home."

"Yeah. And had a few more beers."

"And popcorn. Then I saw my car on TV the next morning, and thought I should see Frank before talking to any police."

"Frank thinks so, too, but you didn't see him. I called him yesterday."

"No. I stopped at a Wendy's and this smiley guy sat down next to me and said 'Joe' sent him. He 'suggested' getting rid of my cell phone and not talking to the police. If I care about my loved ones, he said. That must be you."

"Aw, gee. I'm touched."

"I didn't kill that guy, Mel."

"Wilbur Woode."


"Wilbur Woode is the guy you didn't kill. And it's 'Woode' with an 'e', not the White Sox pitcher. I know you didn't kill him. Not that I can't imagine you getting drunk enough and angry enough to kill someone, but I've never known you to carry piano wire. Do you think that hit men go to a Steinway store and buy it in bulk? The police also brought up Euan's drowning again, and want you to drop by any local station whenever you might feel like a chat. There, that's my civic duty. But don't call the cops, call Frank."

"Yeah, I have to. I'm in Seattle. The hoodlum in Wendy's gave me instructions and a car, but the guy here who looks like a hoodlum but is a goof doesn't know anything about anything. If the police are listening in, I'll be gone from here in three minutes, but I don't know where I'm going. I'm sorry about the car, Mel."

"Done with your call?" asked bashed-crab-face, entering from the kitchen.

"Yes. Thank you."

"Not to New Mexico, I hope, but I should have asked first, eh? I had a cousin there that I haven't seen in years. Danang Asbestos in Oblivion, New Mexico. Her dad was a jerk with an awful last name and thought it'd be funny to give her an awful first name, too. Not that it mattered much, since I don't think there were two other kids in the whole town to make fun of her. Here's some lemonade. I've got iced tea instead if you want. What do people call you, anyway? I'm Joe."


"Yeah, I was kidding about not knowing why you're here. I asked Ed to find you and he gave you his car. Is it good on gas? Hey, sit back down, it's almost time for Jeopardy."


Next up – Kevin Tighe


A game of survival, bad breath, and fish odor…



This is the simple game of Lifeboat.  Everyone plays this, whether you participate or not.  Each turn everyone still alive in the lifeboat may make a single vote to throw someone off the lifeboat, or a single vote to remove one vote from yourself (a defensive measure).  The high vote getter is thrown overboard, as well as any player getting 2 or more net votes (due to the damage caused when Sanka was tossed overboard).  In a tie, everyone with that score is thrown over.  Last one in the boat wins.  I’ll probably give a prize, as usual.  Press is encouraged.  Note that the votes themselves are NOT revealed.  I just simply announce who is thrown overboard.  If you’re not listed as in the lifeboat right now but want to be, email me and I will add you next issue.  If you are listed and don’t’ want to be…well, too bad.  There is no suicide in this game; you just can ignore it if you want to. 


Currently in the lifeboat:


Allison Kent

Amber Smith

Andy Lischett

Andy York

Brad Wilson

Brendan Whyte

Cal White

Carol Kay

Chuy Cronin

Dane Maslen

David Burgess

David Latimer

David McCrumb

Don Williams

Fred Wiedemeyer

Geoff Kemp

Graham Wilson

Hank Alme

Harley Jordan

Heather Taylor

Hugh Polley

Jeff O'Donnell

Jeremie Lefrancois

Jim Burgess

John Biehl

Kayza the Dog

Kevin Tighe

Kevin Wilson

Lance Anderson

Larry Cronin

Marc Ellinger

Mark Firth

Martin Burgdorf

Melinda Holley

Michael Cronin

Michael Moulton

Michael Quirk

Pat Vogelsang

Paul Milewski

Per Westling

Phil Murphy

Rick Desper

Robin ap Cynan

Toby the Helpful Kitty

Tom Howell

Tom Swider

William Wood


Chris Babcock and Paraic Reddington are both leaning over the side, looking for fish they can grab.  Sanka jumps into Chris’ lap and startles him.  Meanwhile, Phil “accidentally” knocks Paraic over the edge.  The three of them – Sanka, Chris, and Paraic – slide overboard.  However, Sanka digs in with her nails on the way out.  The lifeboat is now damaged.  From this point forward, ANY player with a net of more than one vote gets thrown off automatically, whether or not they are the high-vote getter.  Chris and Paraic are swallowed up by sharks, but Sanka finds a large piece of clothing (maybe Jack McHugh’s underwear), curls up on it, and goes to sleep, floating away. 


Thrown Into the Shark Infested Waters: Douglas Kent, Jack McHugh, Richard Walkerdine




Andy Lischett: I vote to toss Tom Swider because whenever I've seen his name, for years and years, I think, "Along Came Tom Swider..." and I'm tired of thinking that.


Anonymous: Let's get rid of the anonymous guy.


Phil Murphy:  There's only room for one Irish man on this boat. And that's me.


Deadline for your vote and any press is September 27th at 7:00am my time



Response to “A Message from Her Majesty the Queen”


Dear Ms. Elizabeth II,


On behalf of the United States of America, I would like to thank you for the offer to revoke our independence and once again provide oversight to our daily lives. Unfortunately we must decline. Please be assured that this has nothing whatsoever to do with our opinions of the British Empire but rather that we believe you do not understand our current organization plus the fact that we see zero potential for an improvement.


It is obvious you do not understand our political organization. You state that one of your first acts will be that “Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.” It appears that you fail to understand that the Senate is just one of the legislative bodies in Congress, the other being the House of Representatives. Eliminating the Senate after disbanding Congress is redundant. Of course, your statement may have been worded this way on purpose as you believe the Senate is so bad it requires deleting twice. If that is the case, I apologize for my response. I tend to agree that a double disbandment is warranted.


I must agree about the qualifications of those candidates who aspire to the Office of President. While our electoral process does weed out the most extreme bozos, the eventual ‘winner’ still easily qualifies for that descriptive title as have all of the men ‘selected’ for quite a long time. At this time, however, we see no benefit in exchanging our Head Bozo for your Head Bozo Mr. Cameron. Your process is no better.


Regarding your rules that you propose being implemented immediately:


  1. It is obvious that you do not understand the American psyche. We have expended great effort to improve our efficiency and reduce costs. It took us decades to remove extra letters from certain words. It requires more time and resources to include these extra letters in a word. Time is money and our workers do not need to waste time forming complicated letters such as ‘u’. We are competing against foreign job market against countries where the cost of an extra ‘u’ is less than have that required in the United States. We are now working on a project to eliminate excess use of the letter ‘o’. We anticipate this project being completed within the next 10 years when you will find words such as ‘colr’ and ‘favr’ come into common use. We also have no desire to change the suffix ‘-ize’ for your suggested ‘-ise’. Anyone with an basic understanding of efficiency knows that it is much easier and faster to generate three straight lines than one complicated curved line that must meet exacting requirements.


  1. You obviously do not understand why filler words such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ have been introduced into US English. During a job interview, usage of these words by job candidates is a red flag that the interviewer knows this person is only capable of handling a low skill task. They do not have to waste time on psychological testing or complicated job training since it will not be effective. This is an area in which you could learn something from us. Don’t worry. We know you are, like, not going to take our advice on anything.


  1. Unacceptable. You already get 53 more holidays off from work than we do. We can’t give up the 4th.


  1. You fail to understand the problem. The guns are for shooting the lawyers.


  1. Roundabouts – I agree. Driving on the left – are you nuts?! Which reminds me of my favorite driving story in Britain. I was going down the road on Skye watching the beautiful landscape when my wife started screaming we were about to have a head-on collision because I was on the wrong side of the road. Turns out it was the damn Frenchman that was on the wrong side. I have never had trouble ‘over there’; my trouble starts when I get back and have to drive from the airport to home. And changing to metrics…just because you surrendered your measuring sovereignty to the damn French doesn’t mean we have to do the same. We like being confused about how may ounces are in a cup or gallon. Knowing how many liters are in a kilometer is just too easy.


  1. I have gotten some weird looks when I have requested the tartar sauce be taken away and replaced with vinegar in the US. I even had one waitress ask me where I lived. “Virginia.” “I had fun there last year. Do you live on St Johns or St Thomas?” She obviously couldn’t tell the difference between Virginia and the Virgin Islands. But that’s another issue.


  1. Yes. Except with our efficiency concerns we simply just call it ‘piss.’


  1. Does this mean that British actors cannot be cast as Americans such as Hugh Laurie, Gary Oldman or Minnie Driver?


  1. A bunch of nancies? In what sport is ‘diving’ not only a regular occurrence but a derisive term?


  1. I suppose you prefer cricket?


  1. HAH! I was correct.


  1. Who killed JFK is our own little secret. You have no need to know that it was all staged so he could go off to a deserted tropical island and live out his remaining days with Marilyn Monroe. Which was also staged. Oops. Pretend you never heard that.


  1. Have you not been paying attention? We don’t like paying taxes. We would rather borrow and bankrupt the economy than pay one cent more than we ever did. Which means we will be eliminating federal taxes soon since we didn’t have to pay them for the majority of our country’s existence.


  1. Tea time? We drink manly beverages such as coffee. You can burn that all day long and the taste is still the same at 4:00 as during the morning.


Once again, on behalf of the United States I would like to thank you for offering to resolve our problems by bringing us back into the British Empire. Our thoughts are certainly with you. If it is any consolation, we might be convinced to allow Kansas to join you but please be aware this this state is almost as big as Britain by itself. (82.272 v 84,600 sq miles)


Sincerely, John Q. Public

Vol II  - Issue #1


Welcome folks, to the new and somewhat truncated Th’ Edge of Th’ Abyss, resurrected from the grave as a sub-zine in Doug’s’ Eternal Sunshine’.  A lot has changed since the last issue – I started and completed secondary teacher training at NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare in Ireland; I accepted an offer of a job in Kuwait teaching 7th Grade English Language Arts at a bilingual American school in Kuwait, and I recently moved to the Middle East from Ireland. I’m based in Jabriya, a suburb in Kuwait City.


I do plan to expand this zine to cover comment on current affairs at home and abroad; to share my experiences in Kuwait personally and as a teacher;  to natter about the hobbies and interests which interest me, and to reach out to others in the Dip community and get to know you folks better.


I am keeping an irregular blog, the contents of which will be included in this sub-zine from time to time. If you want to cut out the middle-man, then take a look at to see my latest blog entries.


For now, I can best be reached by email at trekkypj (of) if you want to get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you all!




Kuwait Diary – Day 1 – 3

One of the first things I learned when I arrived in Kuwait City is that generally, going out during the afternoon is not recommended. At this time of the year (late August) temperatures are still around 45 C  and, this year, Ramadan takes place during August. Because of this, it is advisable to stay indoors until about 6:30; under Islamic law it is forbidden to eat or drink during the hours of fasting (sunrise to sunset).


I learnt this the hard way. As I write, I am in the lobby of the Marriott hotel in downtown Kuwait. It is a fabulous five star hotel and, predictably, with five star prices. Of course, during the day the place is quiet, with the restaurants and the cafes all closed until sunset. I am sure that I was the subject of some fun by those wiser than me when I came into the lobby. I was hot, sweaty and wearing a straw fedora on my head.


Regardless, it is wonderful to be here in Kuwait. The people are incredibly friendly, once you honour their customs, particularly during Ramadan. Kuwaiti people are, without exception, among the most polite and respectful people I have encountered. Any people I have spoken to have treated me with great courtesy.


The range and quality of Western stores and outlets for shopping is simply amazing. They have everything (except alcohol) and their local markets are certainly worth exploring. As in the great markets of Marrakesh, in the souqs of Kuwait, haggling is expected and well worth doing. It’s a great combination of traditional food and goods market as well as massive malls with familiar names such as Marks & Spencer, IKEA, Target, Carrefour…Prices compare very favourably to Western stores. Visit the Sultan Centre, or the Marina Mall for Western stores. For the local markets, head downtown to the traditional souks in the evenings. Friday evening appears to be the best time to go explore the markets.

Taxis are inexpensive, provided you telephone a reputable taxi company. Expect to pay 2KD for a taxi trip across the city. All prices should be negotiated in advance with the driver. One phenomenon worth mentioning is the number of taxis looking for business along the streets. As they pass they beep their horn to see if those passing by are looking for a taxi. Be warned, however. While taxis are safe to use, hailing a taxi from the street risks a much higher fare from an unlicensed or unscrupulous driver. It is far better to book a taxi by telephone and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS negotiate a price beforehand.


On Day 2, I visited the Kuwait Towers. These landmarks on the Kuwait skyline are situated on the Gulf coast just minutes from the city centre. The towers comprise a great number of intricate glass panels in a spherical layout at the top of the tower. Inside this tower, a revolving platform slowly gives visitors a panoramic view of Kuwait City and the Arabian Gulf. Designed by a renowned Swedish architect in the early 1970s, this fantastic architectural design was, unfortunately, vandalised and heavily damaged by the invading Iraqi army during the 1991 Gulf War. Fortunately the Tower and its surrounding gardens have been fully restored. The tower complex hosts a restaurant and a gallery depicting the damage from the conflict with Iraq, as well as a souvenir shop. Expect to pay KD1 per person to get to the viewing platform.




Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Mark Firth, John Biehl, need 5 more to fill.  Sign up now!

Balkan Wars VI – To be Guest GM’d by Brad Wilson: Signed up: Doug Kent (that’s me folks), Jack McHugh, Lance Anderson, needs 3 more.  Contact Brad to sign up at bwdolphin146 “of”  Sign up now!!!  HURRY!!!

Everybody Plays Diplomacy (Black Press): An ongoing everyone-plays variant.  Rules are in ES #47.  Join in at any time!

By Almost Popular Demand: Underway, join anytime.

23 Tunes: Game currently underway, join any time. 

Lifeboat: Everybody plays, whether you actually do anything or not. 

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

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




Eternal Sunshine Game Section



Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, F 14 Delayed


*Message for the folks in my Dip Games from Phil Murphy*

I asked Doug if he'd hold the Dip games I'm in because of my move to Kuwait and getting settled in over here. Thanks Doug for agreeing. Hope you folks don't mind.

Also, please note that the best email address to reach me is trekkypj (of) as my other email address provider is having intermittent server issues.

I should be sorted out by the time you read this, so please drop me a line and we can plot and scheme together.


Summer/Fall 14 Deadline is now September 27th at 7:00am my time



 “Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse



Billy Ray Valentine: Missing in action.


Duke of York: Stands pat.


Smaug the Dragon: Sells 404 Pounds.  Buys

Rothschild: Sells 500 Pounds and 500 Piastres.  Buys 837 Crowns.


Baron Wuffet:No action.


Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Sells 500 Piastres, 500 Pounds.  Buys  838 Crowns.

VAIONT Enterprises: Holds.


Insider Trading LLC:


Bourse Master:


Next Bourse Deadline is September 26th at 7:00pm my time




VAIONT Enterprises: We’ve bought.  Now we hold.  Unless the price of dollars goes up of the price of gold goes down.


Potential New Player:  Can we buy Carrots in this thing?


Smaug looks stressed lately. I wonder why?


Graustark Game 2002D, Full End Game Report




Austria:        Conrad von Metzke to F’02; Gary Floyd.

England:      Stan Johnson to F’02; Fred Wiedemeyer.

France:        Harold Zarr to S’02; Andy Lischett.

Germany:     Stuart Eves to F’02; Mike Quirk.

Italy:             David Stone to F’02; Eric Verheiden.

Russia:         Jim Grose to S’07; Michael Neal to S’12; Harley Jordan.

Turkey:         Joel Peacher to F’03; Hank Alme.

‘Zine:            Yellow Pajamas to S’02; Graustark to F’16; Eternal Sunshine.

                     “To” means “up to and including.”


                 ’01 ’02 ’03 ’04 ‘05 ’06 ’07  ’08 ’09  ’10 ’11 ’12 ’13  ’14 ’15 ’16   

Austria:     4     1    0       

England:   5     5    4    5     5     5    6     6     6     6    6    6     6     6    6    6

France:     5     5    6    6     7     8    9     9   10   10  10   1    11   12  13  14

Germany:  5     5    6    6     6     7    8     7     7    7    7    8      8    8   10  11

Italy:         4     4    4    5     6     5    5     5     4    4    4    3     3     2     0

Russia:      5     8    8    9   10     9    6     7     7    7    7    6     6     6     5    3

Turkey       5     6    6    3    0


End Game from Andy Lischett: First, thanks to Mike Quirk and Fred Wiedemeyer for being good allies since at least 1907, and probably longer. I really don’t remember much way back then.  


WARNING: Petty gloating ahead.


I do remember Jim Grose, who I should thank for motivating me early in this game. Before 2002-D existed Jim had joined a game in my ‘zine, Cheesecake, and immediately began complaining that I had no e-mail, although he’d known that when he’d signed up for the game. He especially complained when he NMRed out, blaming it on me.


Then I was called to take over France in 1902 in 2002-D (Dol Bonner) after Harold Zarr resigned, two units short. As a healthy Russia in this game Jim Grose took up where he’d left off in Cheesecake, welcoming me to 2002-D with the delightful press: “R-F: Two short and no e-mail. You’re really up a creek.” As well as, “R-G: Pound on France while he’s down.”


But G didn’t pound on me and I think we allied way back then, initially against England and then Italy, and then England joined us. Russia was flying high - up to 10 by 1905 - and his press releases sounded as if he’d already won. Then there was a blip in 1906 and the press went away, and a bigger blip in 1907 and Jim went away.


I’d pledged to myself that I would outlive Russia, expecting Russia to be Jim Grose. With Jim NMRed out I might have agreed then on a 5-way draw, except that none was proposed.


So we continued. Mike Quirk was a great ally and Fred Wiedemeyer was, too, although mostly Mike dealt with Fred. We also allied with Eric Verheiden’s Italy against New Russia, but that was a short-term alliance which I’m sure Eric expected us to break, and we did. Then EFG slowly mopped up Russia, which wasn’t easy or fun with Harley Jordan now in charge. Harley was reasonable and tried to negotiate, but by then there was nothing to negotiate.


With Russia gone Mike suggested an EFG draw and I suggested we go for a 2-way. I don’t know if Mike wanted the 3-way out of loyalty to Fred or if he was afraid I would try for a solo win. Anyway, we methodically went after England’s 6 centers.


For a while I considered stabbing Germany for a solo win. I submitted and vetoed FG draw proposals and told Mike that I’d voted for them, so Fred must be vetoing them. But then, after deciding not to try for an 18th center I felt guilty for dragging out the game for Fred unnecessarily, so I was surprised and happy at Fred’s final press release of the game, in W’21, at his elimination: “England votes no to the F/G draw. It was kind of fun to force you two to do this draw this way!”


Thank you, Doug, for taking over and finishing this game and for putting up with our sucky lack of press. Microsoft Word does not acknowledge my spelling of sucky.



Graustark Diplomacy Game 2006A, W 11/S 12


Austria (Don Williams – dwilliams “of” Retreat A Budapest – Vienna, F Ionian Sea - Naples..

 F Naples - Ionian Sea, A Vienna Supports A Galicia - Budapest.

England (Fred Wiedemeyerwiedem “of” A Belgium – Norway,

 F English Channel Supports F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Western Mediterranean, F North Atlantic Ocean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 F North Africa – Tunis, F North Sea Convoys A Belgium – Norway, A Paris Supports A Spain – Gascony,

 F St Petersburg(nc) - Barents Sea.

France (Hank Almealmehj “of” F Portugal Hold.

Germany (Harley Jordanharleyj “of” Build A Munich.. A Apulia Hold,

 F Baltic Sea - Livonia (*Fails*), A Galicia – Budapest, F Gulf of Bothnia Supports F Baltic Sea - Livonia (*Fails*),

 A Livonia - Warsaw (*Fails*), A Marseilles – Piedmont, A Munich – Bohemia,

 A Silesia Supports A Munich – Bohemia, A Spain – Gascony, A Trieste Supports A Galicia – Budapest,

 A Tyrolia Supports A Trieste.

Italy (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” F Gascony - Brest.

Russia (John Biehljerbil “of” Retreat A Galicia - Bohemia..Build A Warsaw..

 F Aegean Sea – Greece, A Albania Supports A Budapest – Serbia, A Bohemia – Galicia, A Budapest – Serbia,

 F Constantinople - Aegean Sea, F Ionian Sea - Adriatic Sea, A Moscow Supports A Warsaw,

 A Rumania Supports A Bohemia – Galicia, A Ukraine Supports A Bohemia – Galicia,

 A Warsaw Supports A Bohemia - Galicia (*Cut*).


Fall 1912 Deadline is September 27th at 7:00am my time





Moscow (Jan 1, 1912) Dimitri Ivanov, the recently elected Chairman of the Workers Soviet Socialist Congress, spoke to the multitudes assembled outside the Kremlin, "Comrades, a great reactionary conspiracy amongst the warmongering autocracies of central Europe threatens Mother Russia and all the Slavic People. Even the western capitalist roaders in England are lock step involved in this vile aggression. Soviet E Russia must and will beat our plowshares into rifles from our factories so that we, the proletariat, may be armed and ready to repulse the invaders wherever they may strike.  All hail liberty and the welfare of the slavic people."


Italian Remnants to Austrian Remnants: Happy 54th Birthday, my friend!!


Berne(d)Switz (Apr 1, 1912) The Institute of Political Affairs, in their latest quarterly, were highly critical of Kaiser Harley the Horrible. The critics inferred that what was 'horrible' about Harley is his apparent failure to go for a 'solo' win. What are you waiting for Harley - Christmas?    ????

Black Press Gunboat, “Scream” 2010Brb32, Fall 05

England: F Edinburgh Supports F Norwegian Sea (*Cut*), F Norwegian Sea Supports F Edinburgh,

 A Yorkshire - Liverpool.

France: A Belgium Supports A Burgundy – Ruhr, A Burgundy – Ruhr, F English Channel Supports A Belgium,

 A Piedmont Supports A Tyrolia – Venice, F Western Mediterranean - Tyrrhenian Sea (*Fails*).

Germany: F Clyde Supports F North Sea – Edinburgh, F Denmark Supports F Norway - North Sea (*Void*),

 A Holland Hold, A Kiel Supports A Munich, A Munich Supports A Piedmont - Tyrolia (*Void*),

 F North Sea - Edinburgh (*Fails*).

Italy: A Apulia – Rome, F Tuscany Supports A Apulia – Rome, A Tyrolia - Venice (*Fails*).

Russia: A Finland – Sweden, A Moscow – Warsaw, F Norway Supports F Sweden – Skagerrak,

 A Serbia - Rumania (*Dislodged*, retreat to Albania or Budapest or OTB), F Sevastopol - Rumania (*Bounce*),

 A St Petersburg Supports F Norway, F Sweden – Skagerrak, A Trieste Supports A Venice,

 A Venice Supports A Trieste (*Cut*), A Warsaw - Silesia.

Turkey: F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea, A Bulgaria Supports A Greece – Serbia, A Greece – Serbia,

 F Ionian Sea – Naples, A Rome Supports F Ionian Sea - Naples (*Disbanded*),

 F Tunis - Western Mediterranean (*Fails*), F Tyrrhenian Sea Supports A Rome (*Cut*).


W 05/S 06 deadline is September 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart:

England:          Edinburgh, Liverpool, London=3, Even

France:            Belgium, Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=6, Build 1

Germany:         Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Munich=5, Remove 1

Italy:                Rome=1, Remove 2

Russia:             Budapest, Moscow, Norway, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden,

Trieste, Venice, Vienna, Warsaw=11, Build 1 or 2

Turkey:            Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Naples, Serbia, Smyrna, Tunis=8, Build 2



Rus - Lon, Ber, Con: Pay no attention to that Frenchman behind the curtain.


Rus - Ber: Right, listen to France. He just took Belgium.

Turkey to Russia – I need Ser for balance. I hope you see it for what it is and retreat/build accordingly.


Rus - Con: OK, you've got your empty Rumania. Now DMZ Bulgaria. Then we'll work on Serbia and Greece.


Diplomacy “Dublin Boys” 2010D, W 03/S 04

Austria (Paul Milewskipaul.milewski “of” Remove F Trieste..

 A Budapest Supports A Serbia - Trieste (*Dislodged*, retreat to Serbia or Galicia or OTB), A Galicia – Warsaw,

 A Moscow Supports A Galicia – Warsaw, A Serbia - Trieste.

England (Kevin Tighetigheman “of” Build F London.. A Edinburgh – Norway,

 F London - North Sea, F North Sea - Helgoland Bight, F Norway – Skagerrak,

 F Norwegian Sea Convoys A Edinburgh – Norway, F Sweden - Denmark (*Fails*).

France (Jeff O’Donnell – unclestaush “of” Disband A Burgundy.. Build A Marseilles, A Paris,

 plays 1 short.. A Gascony Supports A Marseilles, A Marseilles Supports A Paris – Burgundy,

 F Naples Supports F Tunis - Ionian Sea, A Paris – Burgundy, F Tunis - Ionian Sea,

 F Western Mediterranean - Gulf of Lyon.

Germany (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” Build A Berlin.. A Belgium – Picardy,

 A Berlin – Munich, A Burgundy Supports A Belgium - Picardy (*Dislodged*, retreat to Ruhr or Belgium or OTB),

 F Denmark Supports F Kiel (*Cut*), F Kiel Supports F Denmark, A Ruhr - Holland.

Italy (Hank Almealmehj “of” Remove A Piedmont.. F Greece - Ionian Sea (*Fails*),

 F Ionian Sea - Tyrrhenian Sea, F Tyrrhenian Sea - Rome.

Russia (Jack McHugh jwmchughjr “of” Disband F Sweden..

 A Rumania Supports A Vienna – Budapest, F Sevastopol Supports A Rumania, A Ukraine Hold,

 A Vienna - Budapest.

Turkey (Brad Wilson - bwdolphin146 “of” Build F Smyrna.. A Ankara – Smyrna,

 F Black Sea Hold, F Bulgaria(ec) – Constantinople, F Smyrna - Aegean Sea.


Fall 04 Deadline is September 27th at 7:00am my time



Eng-Fra: If you built a fleet I'll slap you into the ocean.


Eng- A/R: Very clever. Is this when you reveal your alliance?


Eng-Ger: And if you built a fleet I'll slap you into the . . . um . . . Bight?


Ger - Eng: I'd love to move west but you see, I can't leave both you and France behind me. So here's the deal. You do your thing and I'll do mine and we'll get along. Or we can take down a 7-center France that menaces both of us. Or if you attack me, I'll basically let France have whatever he can take while I do my best to stonewall you. Personally, I prefer Door #2. What about you?


Ger - Fra: Nothing personal. Just business.



Everybody Plays Diplomacy “Dandelion” 2010Cvj08, F 04

Player Names or Handles will be shown for any power they commanded each season.

Remember, in some seasons if we get enough players you may not wind up commanding any nations.  All press submitted will be printed.

Austria (Rick Desper): Retreat A Munich - Tyrolia.. A Bohemia – Munich, A Budapest - Trieste (*Bounce*),

 A Piedmont Supports A Tyrolia – Venice, A Rumania - Bulgaria (*Bounce*),

 A Silesia Supports A Bohemia – Munich, A Tyrolia - Venice.

England (Italy Must Win): F Denmark – Sweden, F English Channel - North Sea, A London Hold,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - North Atlantic Ocean, F Norway - St Petersburg(nc).

France (Tom Howell): A Belgium - Picardy (*Bounce*), F Brest - Picardy (*Bounce*),

 A Burgundy - Marseilles (*Fails*), A Holland - Kiel (*Fails*), F Marseilles - Spain(sc) (*Bounce*),

 F Spain(sc) - Portugal.

Germany (Dave McCrumb): A Kiel Supports A Munich (*Cut*), A Munich Supports A Kiel (*Dislodged*,

 can retreat to Tyrolia or Berlin or Ruhr or OTB), A Sweden - Norway.

Italy (Dave McCrumb): F Greece - Bulgaria(sc) (*Bounce*), F Ionian Sea - Eastern Mediterranean (*Fails*),

 A Venice - Trieste (*Dislodged*, retreat to Apulia or Rome or Tuscany or OTB),

 F Western Mediterranean - Spain(sc) (*Bounce*).

Russia (Italy Must Win): F Baltic Sea Supports F Prussia, A Moscow – Warsaw, F Prussia Supports F Baltic Sea,

 A Sevastopol - Rumania (*Fails*).

Turkey (Tom Howell): F Ankara - Black Sea, F Armenia Supports F Ankara - Black Sea,

 F Eastern Mediterranean Supports F Smyrna - Aegean Sea (*Cut*), F Smyrna - Aegean Sea.

W 04/S 05 Deadline is September 27th at 7:00am my time


Supply Center Chart:


Austria:            Budapest, Munich, Rumania, Serbia, Trieste, Venice, Vienna=7, Build 1

England:          Denmark, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, St Petersburg, Sweden=6, Build 1

France:            Belgium, Brest, Holland, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=7, Build 1

Germany:         Berlin, Kiel, Norway=3, Even or Build 1

Italy:                Greece, Naples, Rome, Tunis=4, Even or Build 1

Russia:             Moscow, Sevastopol, Warsaw=3, Remove 1

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




Italy Must Die -> Italy Must Win: Good luck with that one.


Italy Must Die -> Romeo Must Die: We've booked your tickets for Verona.


Italy Must Die -> John Tucker Must Die: I hear John Tucker is hiding in Italy.


Geneva, Switz. (15 Oct 1904): That obviously wasn't mental. Must have been a military mind.

Dateline: Amsterdam ( 15 Nov 1904): Nederland Intelligence Service reports excessive amounts of unintelligible static emanating from the vicinity of Roma. Operations have been initiated in cooperation with
Asian and Illyrian assets to triangulate on, locate, and suppress the sources of said static, in hopes of improving communications across Europa.


Italy Must Win to PIKERS: We're making some progress now, much better.



Black Press Gunboat, “Streets of Soho,” 2011Arb32, W 02/S 03

Austria: Build F Trieste.. F Aegean Sea - Constantinople (*Fails*), A Budapest Supports A Serbia,

 A Bulgaria Supports F Aegean Sea - Constantinople (*Cut*), A Greece Supports A Bulgaria,

 A Serbia Supports A Bulgaria, F Trieste - Albania.

England: Build F Edinburgh, F Liverpool.. F Edinburgh - North Sea, F Liverpool - Irish Sea, A London Hold,

 F Norway – Skagerrak, F St Petersburg(nc) - Norway.

France: Build A Paris.. A Belgium Hold, A Marseilles – Spain, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports F Spain(sc) –

 Western Mediterranean, A Paris – Burgundy, F Spain(sc) - Western Mediterranean.

Germany: Plays 1 short.. A Berlin Supports A Munich – Silesia, A Denmark – Kiel, A Munich – Silesia,

 F Sweden - Gulf of Bothnia.

Italy: F Gulf of Lyon Convoys A Tuscany – Marseilles, A Piedmont Supports A Tuscany – Marseilles,

 A Tuscany – Marseilles, F Western Mediterranean - Spain(sc) (*Dislodged*, can retreat to North Africa

 or Tunis or Tyrrhenian Sea or OTB).

Russia: Remove F Baltic Sea.. F Black Sea Supports A Rumania – Bulgaria, A Rumania - Bulgaria (*Fails*),

 F Sevastopol - Rumania (*Fails*), A Silesia - Galicia.

Turkey: F Ankara Supports A Constantinople, A Constantinople Supports F Ankara (*Cut*),

 A Smyrna Supports A Constantinople.


F 03 Deadline is September 27th at 7:00am my time



London: First Russia then the world, muuuahhhahahahahah, err um, we seek only friendship with our European neighbors.


Munchen Beobachter: War on France, it IS genetic.


Black – Red: How do you fancy moving west? - Italy & France are now nicely tied up and open


Venice to Smyrna: Austria looks ripe…


ITALY – GERMANY &/OR ENGLAND:  Okay, I’ve got his attention.  I could use a little help here now.  Hello?  Hello?  Is this thing on?


ITALY – FRANCE:  Still not personal.  Really.


Venice to Munich: Austria looks ripe…


willie-nickie: this is why you rarely see russia go full bore against germany you nitwit


Venice to Budapest: You smell ripe…




Diplomacy - “Lighthouse” - 2011? – Spring 1901 Delayed


*Message for the folks in my Dip Games from Phil Murphy*

I asked Doug if he'd hold the Dip games I'm in because of my move to Kuwait and getting settled in over here. Thanks Doug for agreeing. Hope you folks don't mind.

Also, please note that the best email address to reach me is trekkypj (of) as my other email address provider is having intermittent server issues.

I should be sorted out by the time you read this, so please drop me a line and we can plot and scheme together.


Austria (Don Williams – dwilliams “of”

England (Phil Murphy – trekkypj “of”

France (Kevin Wilson – ckevinw “of”

Germany (Brad Wilson – bwdolphin146 “of”

Italy (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of”

Russia (Fred Wiedemeyerwiedem “of”

Turkey (Lance Anderson – lance_anderson “of”


Spring 1901 Deadline is now September 27th at 7:00am my time



By Almost Popular Demand


The goal is to pick something that fits the category and will be the a popular answer but NOT 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. However, if your answer is the most popular answer, you score ZERO.  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, and the score is doubled for Round 10.  A prize will be awarded to the winner.  Research is permitted!


Round 3 Categories

1. A piece of furniture.

2. A kitchen appliance.

3. A song by Ringo Starr (during his solo career).

4. A European nation.

5. A Day of the week.


Congrats to Kevin Wilson for getting the high score of the turn.  And condolences to Dave McCrumb for getting the most popular answer in every category, and therefore scoring 0.  Kitchen Appliance has a number of answers tied for the lead!


Selected Comments by Category:


General Comments – Rick Desper “If I hadn't changed blue to green last month, I still would have gotten zero points, but the scores of a lot of people would have changed.”


Furniture – Kevin Wilson “ Probably hard to guess what will be popular here with so many choices.  My first thought was "bed" and if that occurs to others, then I should avoid it.”  Phil Murphy “Bed. Which is where I most like to be on a Saturday morning.  Jim Burgess ”It seems that there is table, chair, bed, and couch that could be the choices, I'm betting chair or bed will be most popular.”


Appliance – Kevin Wilson “I'm going to guess a refrigerator will be #1.  Fewer items to choose from here and better to pick something not likely to slip to the most popular and get 0.  Instead, take the 1 or 2 and hope for the best.”  Jim Burgess “I'm going with the "T's" for luck on these first two.  Seems that toaster is a good compromise choice that won't be most popular.”


Ringo Starr – Melinda Holley “I have NO clue if You’re Sixteen is from his solo career; it's the only one I can think of.”  Kevin Wilson “I haven't a clue here.  Growing up in rural Missouri in the 60s & 70s, I missed the whole Beatles thing.  I probably didn't know who they were until much later.  I didn't recognize any of the songs listed for him that I could find so I have no idea what will be popular or not.  So, a random selection.”  Phil Murphy “This is a total shot in the dark. My music taste is eclectic and I have big Beatles sized gaps in my collection.”  Jim Burgess “There aren't enough good choices here, Ringo doesn't have very many decent solo songs. So, go with the silliest one.  Also, he didn't write hardly any of the songs he did in his solo career, including this one which was written by Hoyt Axton and David Jackson.”


European Nation – Brendan Whyte “Italy is less a nation than a great pile of cold macaroni cheese. Did you know that there are two kinds of germination? The East Germination and the West Germination.”  Kevin Wilson “Lots of choices here too.  Perhaps the UK will be popular since the game hobby is well represented there.  Germany comes to mind since games are huge there.  I'll avoid both and go with the next one on the list.”  Richard Walkerdine “Belgium, birthplace of Agatha Christie's Poirot.”  Phil Murphy “My favorite movie quote talks about Switzerland. In "The Third Man" notorious gangster and racketeer Harry Lime dismisses the Swiss as follows: "Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly."  Of course, he forgot the numbered accounts and the confidential banking. I've never been to Switzerland but someday....”  Dane Maslen “I avoided the U.K. not because I thought it would be most popular but because I had no idea how your readership would choose to describe the country and how you would deal with the various possibilities('England', 'Great Britain', 'United Kingdom') which technically all refer to different entities but are often interchangeably misused.”

Day of the Week – Richard Walkerdine “Sunday Bloody Sunday - great film.”  Phil Murphy “Friday. Why? Well, firstly it's the first day of the weekend in Kuwait, secondly it's a holy day here, and thirdly, well I get to sleep in on Friday for a change. Though I do have to work Sunday instead. *shrug*”


Round 4 Categories

1. A character on Sesame Street.

2. A holiday where you traditionally give cards.

3. A child’s toy.

4. A classical composer.

5. Something made of wood.


Deadline for Round 4 is September 27th at 7:00am my time



General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  September 27th, 2011 at 7:00am my time.