Eternal Sunshine #82

November 2013

By Douglas Kent 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149

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Quote Of The Month“The plane crashed. I didn't crash the plane.” (Rob in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine that experienced such a crappy October and STILL had the pleasure of visiting with Brendan Whyte and his lovely wife Su.  It has been a long, hard month…full of serious bouts of depression and OCD, a sick dog who we almost decided to give up to a rescue group rather than keep her, so much stress in the house that we had to have Brendan and Su stay in a hotel instead of our guest room (which – trust me folks – they were better off), a change in my psychiatric medication which went over okay but has changed my dream patterns drastically, the Rangers completely out of the playoffs, The Cowboys winning two games in a row, and lots of other issues.


But we survived.  Somehow.


The happiest news is that we’re keeping Miss Piggy.  After adopting her, she had a bad two or three weeks.  First she had tapeworms.  Then we found out she had a tumor which was likely cancer.  Then she developed intestinal issues which left us with HUGE puddles of diarrhea on the living room carpet…and later, piles of formed feces which were somehow a behavioral issue.  Maybe she was mad at us for something?  Then the surgery, where the tumor was not an issue, but they discovered another which WAS cancerous.  The constant battle trying to get her intestines settled.  Even a failed attempt at crating her; she’d start whining and barking around 2am because she simply cannot handle being kept away from her “mommy” Heather.  And our house is too small to ignore those loud, pathetic noises. 


Things seem to have worked themselves out.  After further diet adjustment, adding a pre-bedtime walk to her schedule, taking her off antihistamines (which she needed for sinus and itching problems), and allowing her to sleep in the bedroom again, Miss Piggy is happier, full or life and personality, and a joy to have around.  She keeps us laughing, and of course the walks are good exercise for us anyway.  We have decided that if she needs cancer surgery again we’re not putting her through that…she’s 9 years old at least now, and we just hope she has good health for the next few years.  When you adopt a senior dog you know you won’t have them for as long as you want, and you expect medical issues, but so much so fast was totally overwhelming.























Brendan Whyte of “Damn the Consequences” fame has been travelling across the U.S. and Canada, visiting hobby friends where he can.  As usual for us, the timing worked out about as poorly as possible, but they had two days in Dallas of sightseeing (on their own, I couldn’t possibly get off work) and we had two fun meals together.  The first night, while Heather was busy with her daughter Bailey, I took them to a local steakhouse not far from where I work.  It’s a bit fancy but because it was Tuesday night I knew attire wouldn’t be an issue.  Perry’s has a famous 32oz pork chop, which was the centerpiece of our dinner.  Brendan and Su shared one, and I had one for myself (the leftovers going home for Heather to enjoy later).  It’s hard for me to tell if anyone is enjoying my company, and social anxiety disorder (combined with a lack of social skills) has me saying or doing the wrong thing most of the time.  I think Su was able to handle me, but I believe Brendan was sick of my presence after maybe five minutes.  Can’t say I blame him.


The following night, Wednesday, all four of us had food at the local Mexican restaurant.  Heather being there made the conversation flow better, and while I was still a general ass like always, at least Su and Brendan had somewhere else to focus their attention.  Brendan gave Heather a tube of vegemite as a gift, but so far she has been too afraid to try it.  I keep telling Heather that because it was a gift so she would be ruse if she didn’t east ALL of it.  Send her emails to support that position, please.  I tried to play a good host and refused to let Brendan pick up a check…so now I can complain about what a cheapskate he is, just like Walt Buchanan.  All you Dip players are cheapskates.  Actually I told Brendan and Su that they could pay for the Mexican food if Su drank two margaritas, but she couldn’t even finish off one, so tough luck.


Thursday they took the train down to Austin to enjoy a visit with Andy York, who is about 1000 times nicer and friendlier.  Plus Andy doesn’t get lost driving around his own city the way I do…Brendan was reduced to using a transit map to help me navigate back to their hotel after our first dinner.  Nice, eh?  The Kiwi, living in Australia, has to tell me how to get back to the hotel he’s only been inside of once.  What a host I am. 


Honestly, I do think Brendan either disliked me, or just didn’t know what to make of me.  He did seem to enjoy his brief visit with Toby the Cat though.  They’re not allowed pets in their apartment, and Toby (as usual) did what he could to make them feel welcome when they visited the house before dinner on Wednesday.


Zine-wise, I’m trying to line up an interview for the next issue or the one after.  My enthusiasm and inspiration is slightly better right now, so I had better take advantage of it.  The Youngstown IV game opening was moved to Diplomacy World as a Demo Game, and has filled.  Instead I’ve added a few new variant openings…see if any interest you.  Pete Sullivan has a 7x7 Gunboat Tourney open in his Octopus’s Garden subzine, and those always seem to fill fast.  There are also columns by Larry Peery (two, one of which is a reprint of a Diplomacy World piece), Jack McHugh, Paul Milewski, and whoever else shows up between when I wrote this and the final deadline (Richard Weiss’ Zero Sum arrived to say goodbye…for now).


Happy Halloween and Thanksgiving (if either of those holidays are in your wheelhouse), and I’ll see you in December!  Well, maybe…..


Playlist: Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf; The Best of Howard Jones – Howard Jones; Road(s) – Sara Routh; New Constellation – Toad the Wet Sprocket; Sirens – S.J. Tucker.


21 of the Best TV Series Ever

An Eternal Sunshine List Challenge


The late – and much missed – Richard Walkerdine is the one who suggested this topic for the next Eternal Sunshine list challenge. The basis is simple: you submit three TV series per month, over the next seven months, along with any commentary you would like to attach to your choices.  In the end you’ll have 21 selections!  There is not mean t to be a specific order to your choices; you’re not ranking them from best to 21st best.  Also, the category of “best” in this instance should mean something like “most enjoyable” rather than “most influential.”  Finally, you should consider within the context of your choices whether the series holds up in any way…in other words, if you are listing it as one of the 21 best, could you sit down and watch episodes now and enjoy them? 


Non-U.S. television series are – of course – welcome.  (Many modern American series were reworked versions of English series anyway).  To qualify as a “series” the show must have aired at least six episodes.  All genres are welcome: comedy, horror, suspense, detective, science fiction…anything you like.  Oh, and if the series has multiple incarnations (as many of the more popular science fiction series do, for example) specify which one you mean.  You can list multiples, but they each take up a spot on your list…and you only get 21!  I am offering prizes: two of the respondents who submit a full complement of 21 TV series will be selected at random for prizes.  So to win, all you have to do is play.


Next issue: The fourth set of three TV series from each of you (plus 3 more for each round you have missed), and from me.  Remember: These are not meant to be placed in order by you, from top to bottom, unless you want to do that for some reason.  And since you only have to submit three series per issue, I hope you’ll give some explanation of why you chose each one.


Andy York: Weeds, 7th Heaven, Touched by an Angel


Heather Taylor: Face Off, Glee, The Facts of Life


John Wilman: Hi Doug - this one is definitely for you!


Three more TV shows. As a rule, I am not a big fan of hospital dramas, being somewhat squeamish, but so many of them have been made that some of them have to be good.


One such is House, in which the protagonist struggles with addiction to a prescription painkiller (Vicodin) but still comes up with some impressive feats of diagnosis. And I like Scrubs, for its irreverent attitude to just about everything.


Finally, there is Green Wing, a sustained masterpiece of surrealism.


Richard Weiss: I share with others the sense of excitement about being the first to include some show in MY list.  Much to my surprise then to see two of us mention the "Muppets" last month.  For a few years, the Muppets was the best variety show on TV.  However, I'm a bit sad that one of my three shows I was going to put on my list this month was already listed, and by you.  Monday before ES came out, I watched Blacklist and decided I didn't want to watch another of the same old same old "let's see if we can intrigue viewers with a puzzle, keep changing things a bit, never let anyone know the real truth, and see if we can surprise everyone at the end of the year of in a few years."  After watching it, I remembered the first such show I remember.  I was in Junior or Senior High School when The Prisoner came out.  As a summer show, every scene, it seemed, was packed witih something that might be relevant to the puzzle.  Given how many duplicate wanna be shows there are on the air now, definitely I will send your inclusion of The Prisoner on my list of 21. 


I also share the enthusiasm some have for seeing a show listed and going, oh yes, that was a great show.  Columbo was one of those last month.  Which will lead me to Quincy, M.E. as on my list for this month.  For those playing Oleg Kalugin, there is some relationship in the choice, it at least highlights one type of insurance.  This was a great detective show, precursor to the CSI series and the Criminal Minds, etc.  Jack Klugman was about as elegant as Peter Falk, just in different ways.


My third show is another oldie and another that has been redone in various other ways many times, including the reborn and re-vitalized Law and Order.  Perry Mason was a can't miss show, who done it, always solved within one hour, almost always there were abundant clues and one could make an educated guess, never relied on fancy perfect memory or violence on the part of the police or the detective, and yes, I did see the show in which Perry's client was guilty. 


Rick Desper: Breaking Bad - this is no doubt influenced by the fact that the series finale is next Sunday.  But I can think of no other show that so neatly weaves together elements of comedy and tragedy.  The first season would best be described as a dark comedy about a high school chemistry teacher turned to meth cooking as a way to create a nest egg for his family.  As the seasons progressed, Walter White slowly turned into a megalomaniacal drug kingpin, and the comedy became less funny.  I stopped watching for a while because I didn't like the change in flavor.  But it's really transformed into a great American tragedy.


Saturday Night Live - the show started with the glory years of Chevy Chase, Aykroyd and Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, and the rest of the Not-Ready for Prime Time Players.  And then after they left, Eddie Murphy!  After he left, there was a bit of a dry, unfunny spell.  It enjoyed a resurgence in the '90s with Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Rob Schneider, Dennis Miller, etc.  And a bit later with Will Farrell, Molly Shannon, etc.  And then the Tina Fey years.  Haven't watched as much in recent years, but this show could be on the list just for the first 20 years. 


Sesame Street - figured the list needs a show aimed at kids, and this is the best of them.  I might also include The Muppet Show.


This list has been brought to you by the number '5', the letter 'w' and the color blue.


Douglas Kent: This month I’ll just be eclectic and list the first three that come to mind, regardless of era or genre.


Bones – Admittedly I assumed this show would be crap.  We only watched the first few episodes because “Angel” David Boreanaz was one of the stars, and Heather is a huge Buffy/Angel fanatic.  But it was the delicious Emily Deschanel and her title character of Dr. Temperance Brennan who took this show and pushed it two notches above all others of the type.  Yes, a lot of the ease by which they determine the answers to complicated questions is silly (the “Angelatron” can make 3-D images of crime scene animation in moments, forgetting that the character of Angela was simply an artist before she came to work in the lab; insects and types of soil are instantly narrowed down to “only three places in the area”) but as with all good shows the characters are what allow you to overlook that.  At least every episode isn’t about a serial killer.


Marty Stouffer’s Wild America – I grew up watching this on PBS, and full DVD sets are incredible inexpensive today.  The quality of some of the footage is less perfect on today’s HD television sets, but the camerawork and narration is outstanding.  Marty could choose a large topic like predators, or narrow in on a particular species of animal, and he’d allow you to see the beauty in the nature which is all around us.  He also gave you an appreciation for the conservation of land and preservation of habitat without sounding like some sort of preachy politician.  I’m enjoying rediscovering each show as I work my way through the DVD set a little at a time.


Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Admittedly this show has hits and misses, but there are simply too many belly-laughs to ignore.  The concept is simple: take a low-budget or bad movie and make sarcastic comments about it as you watch it.  The rest of the trappings: being stuck on a satellite, the robots, etc. just give it extra charm.  It’s you and some buddies drinking a few beers and having a great time.  The interplay between the

characters is funny, but it also helps bring you back to terrible movie hosts from “the crappy channel” (the non-network affiliate) wherever you grew up.  Tom Servo is the man, even if he is a gumball machine with unusable arms.


Hugh Polley: 10. Bonanza - Admit it you tuned in every week and hoped for an episode centered around Dan Blocker.  Lorne Green played the same Father role in Battlestar Galactica


11. Barney Miller - I enjoyed this series because the characterizations  were very stable yet fun.  The twist came from the various odd ball suspects and complaintents entering the squad room.  Of note was Abe Vigoda, apply last named Fish.  He was the experienced foil for the other detectives, always dealing with some problem generated by his wife.


12. Three's Company - I can hear the groans, but it was the light fare I needed to escape reality once in awhile.  Of note I enjoyed John Ritter's physical comedy and prat falls. 


Andy Lischett: 10. Perry Mason. Poor Hamilton Berger.


11. The Untouchables - When I was a kid this came on at 9:00 which was my bedtime. I could sometimes stay up late to watch something, but not The Untouchables, which was too "adult.. I love the cars and the clothes and the architecture, and every future actor was on an episode of The Untouchables. Also good theme music, Walter Winchell and true gangster stories.


12. Another Desilu Production... The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. This is currently being rerun on a cable station and I record it every day. Not the best production values or acting. Sometimes the stories are stupid and sometimes very good, but I enjoy it.


Dick Martin: this time it's a grab bag of destination tv shows...


ufo - an early 70s show about fighting off aliens in the "distant future" of 1980. what do they want? why are they here? nobody knows. nifty effects and funky future fashions but i think it was the downbeat feel to it that hooked me, very few episodes had happy endings.


kung fu - the show that made us all want to do martial arts in slow motion! totally unlike anything else i'd seen - a fantastic fighter who only fights as a last resort? get outta town!


star trek: next generation - the first couple seasons had good ideas (q!) but were a bit stiff. once it got rolling it had enough different cool ideas to keep us coming back on a weekly basis - goofy and thought provoking at the same time.


Jack McHugh: Let's go with new TV shows I'm currently watching:


1. Hell on Wheels--really enjoying this series from AMC on the completion of the trans-continental rail line...Colin Mealy--Cheif O'Brein to you trekkies--has been magnficient as the super slimey railroad speculator and president of Credit Mobile which is the finance behind the railroad...or should I say emblezzed finance....


2. Low Winter Sun--another gem from AMC--like what I've seen so far of the first half dozen episodes...the acting is well done for a cop the whole grey moral zone the show resides in--course you'd expect that from a show that opens with two cops cold bloodly killing a third cop...and not for the usual, "he's gonna rat us out to internal affairs or the feds" but because he is evil and they want to stop him...that got me interested right from the opening scene...


3. Friday Night Lights--enjoying this on the comcast tv series channel so I can watch all six seasons--it went off the air in 2009 i think-when i want to...never saw it when it was on network tv...enjoying watching it now...writing is well done and the series never takes any shortcuts with its characters....


Andy Bate: OK, what shall we go for this time?  Unlike several other contributors, I haven't thought about this and produced a shortlist.  Instead I keep getting reminders from the other suggestions, so I'm sure there will be good series that I will end up leaving out.


St Elsewhere: Rick Desper's description of ER reminded me of St Elsewhere, which pre-dated ER by some twelve years or so.  I used to watch the programme religiously to catch up on the goings on amongst the staff at St Eligius hospital.  I recently watched a couple of episodes and it seemed a little dated, but I could see me acquiring a box set and watching it all again.


ER: Another great medical drama, building on the formula that St Elsewhere had established.  I think Rick covered it all last issue.  Another one which might well be worth another watch.  Just need to win the lottery and retire so that I've got the time!


Moonlighting: I really loved this programme, with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis playing off each other like crazy, with Allyce Beasley and Curtis Armstrong providing some off-centre counterpoints.  Like so many series where there is romantic tension between the two lead characters, it stayed the right side of the line for so long but when it finally tipped over to the other side the programme lost its edge.  Not seen this one in ages, but would like to catch an early episode again to see if it still had that sparkle.


Paraic Reddington: This month I’m going with quirky British quiz shows from the 80s that I loved:

















Bruce Forsythe’s Play Your Cards Right: As camp as a row of tents, this ITV copy of Card Sharks from the US was made by the presenter Bruce Forsythe and his inimitable wig. “Higher than a 6 you saaaaaaaay???.......a 4!  Awwww


Blankety Blank: This long running BBC laugher was originally hosted by Terry Wogan but it was the Les Dawson hosted years that cracked me up. The novelty prize for the loser was a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen!


Bullseye: This darts themed gameshow was part quiz show and part skill. Jim Bowen was probably the most annoying game show host in history. As cruel fate would have it, he actually partnered me once when I was a contestant on another ITV show back in the 90s. Jim Bowen once described Bullseye as "the second-best darts-based game show on television". There are no others.


Heath Gardner: 10. Homeland. Homeland is sort of like 24 for intellectuals, and it's manipulative as hell with its plot twists, but it's still an amazing show. Claire Danes has come a long way from "My So Called Life" to this. My wife and I have developed a joke from this show though -- every time the lead character cries, she gets what we can only refer to as "claire danes mouth". My wife and I make a game out of mimicking the Claire Danes Mouth almost as though it were a drinking game. But seriously, this show's got it all - dark humor, wicked suspense, and Mandy Patankin. Worth a rental, at least.


11. The World At War. This Brit documentary on WWII is one of the most masterful entries into the historic record that film has ever seen. With the foreboding and sweeping  narration Laurence Olivier, the show uses truly amazing footage from world war 2 and covers all the important battles and issues (e.g. "France Falls," "The Battle of Britain", etc) using footage you won't see anywhere else. This is the most selfish birthday gift I've ever gotten someone.. I got it to my dad for his birthday when I knew I was about to be coming up to visit him in Asheville for 3 weeks. We watched the entire show and all the bonus features. It's worth buying the box set sight unseen.


12. Tim And Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job!   Not at all for everyone, this is the most absurd thing I've ever seen on TV. It's essentially a spoof of late night television, as well as public access tv.  and the many weird and random things you come across while flipping the channels late at night. My wife hates this show with a passion, but she still went with me to meet Tim and Eric in downtown Atlanta, and they talked to her way more than they did to me.


Dane Maslen: It's time to stop having a theme for each set of three and just get on with listing the shows that definitely need listing.  So far I've marked 10 of the remaining shows on my list - ever expanding as other people mention series that had slipped my mind - as must-haves.  That leaves 16 shows jostling for the final 2 places.  This could get ugly towards the end.


Colombo (US) - Head and shoulders above any other detective series.  It most certainly stands up to being watched again.


Have I Got News For You (UK) - Bizarrely this didn't feature on my original list even though it's the show whose next series I always await with most anticipation.  It's now in its 46th series, each series having been about 9 shows with two series every year.  When Angus Deayton got himself fired as host of this panel show, a format with guest hosts was temporarily introduced while the producers looked for a long-term replacement, but the format proved so successful that it became permanent.


I, Claudius (UK) - Not the sort of show that would normally appeal to me, so the fact that I include it in the list is an indication of just how good it, and especially Derek Jacobi, was.


Per Westling: It seems that as we progress one's choices seem to be taken by someone else. Peep show is a show I have not watched so I will check it out, but it wont make my list regardless as I have already made my 21 choices.


10. Black Mirror. Heath Gardner made a good description of what is good about this one. Actually I have just seen a few episodes of it but they have been very thought provocative. I am not sure that I would rewatch the episodes I have seen but it is good with a series you can watch episodes in any order.


11. Game of Thrones. Before this appeared on air, I did buy the books as several friends highly recommended them. But I have still not read them. Did follow this from the beginning and is one of the few shows I have followed that closely, so that I did watch episodes maybe less then a day after each episode had been aired in the US. The joy of modern techonology...  Much have been written about this so I should not add, much, except that the reason I do watch it, and like it, is NOT the sex scenes. It's more that I can feel that there can be too much sex in it sometimes. But there is so many other strong points in this. When it comes to rewatching I have no clue. Have not watched the episodes when they are aired here in Sweden (with Swedish subtitles) but maybe I should as it is hard following some of the dialogs at times.


12. Sherlock. This is the modern, UK, version of the classic Sherlock Holmes, with Martin Freeman (The Hobit) as Dr Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch (latest Star Trek) as Sherlock Holmes. Created by Steven Moffat (Dr Who) and Mark Gatiss.  They have made a very nice adaption of Sherlock to present day.  Each episode is 90 minutes long and each season is 3 episodes. First season was recorded in 2010, and the third season is currently under production.


In the US there have been a recent attempt to make their own modern adaption of Sherlock Holmes, in the series "Elementary", 2012, but I only saw parts of the first episode and did not much like that.  Some say that if you like (Dr) House you might like Sherlock (the Brilliant Mind being a real Bastard) and that might be true, but I have not watched House.


Kevin Wilson: 1. Star Trek (TOS).  I will add this now before I run out of room.  It shows my preference for sci fi/fantasy but was my introductory show, the one that got me hooked.  I don't remember if I saw it first during its run or in syndication.  I may have caught a few during the original run, as a kid, but I suspect most were after it went into syndication.  I was a kid so not in control of the TV and didn't get to see it regularly, but when I did come across it, not watching wasn't an option.  I still find some of the episodes fun to watch and will stop from time to time when I come across them on the TV.


2.  Second perhaps to my preference for sci fi/fantasy is my enjoyment of anything Sorkin.  Just as The West Wing rates high on my list, his latest, The Newsroom, is up there too.  As is usual for Sorkin shows, it's very well written, has intelligent characters and isn't afraid to take on controversial subjects.


3.  The Big Bang Theory.  I like comedies but not all of them make me laugh out loud like this one does on a regular basis.  I'm not as smart as the characters on the show but can be just as geeky at times so I guess it hits close to home.  It's another show that I must watch as soon as an episodes hits the DVR.


Hank Alme: Sci-Fi (-ish) this month.


X-Files: I'm not sure why this appealed to me so much back in grad school, since I tend to skepticism and the show was not. I bet I fancied Gillian Anderson enough to suspend my disbelief. I could do without the last couple of seasons, even though I liked Robert Patrick's character.


Doctor Who: I watched some of the previous doctors back in the day, but came on board in a real way with the 2005 reboot. With each new doctor I catch myself regretting the change at first but soon warm to the new guy. I will miss Matt Smith, but look forward to Peter Capaldi.


Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched this on and off as it came out, but never religiously. I have been digging my way through on Netflix of late. I guess it is the context I have now that I didn't have then, but the earlier episodes feel a little odd to me. I think it is that the crew relationships and dynamics have not gelled; it feels like I am watching a group of close friends pretend they don't know each other.


Martin Burgdorf: 10. Raumschiff Enterprise (englisch Star Trek; später auch Star Trek: The Original Series, Abkürzung TOS)

11. Dallas (1978 TV series)

12. Akte X – Die unheimlichen Fälle des FBI (Originaltitel: The X-Files)


Jim Burgess: This issue, it is best follow up series....


Star Trek: Deep Space 9 -- I'm an economist and the economic issues presented with the Cardassians and the Ferengi and everyone else was fascinating.  I really liked all the secondary characters too.


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes -- Jeremy Brett version, not technically a follow up, since he was still playing the same character.... but well it goes.


Frasier -- This spinoff from Cheers was never boring, occasionally stupid, but diverse.  Again, great continuing characters, especially some of the minor ones.




Hypothetical of the Month


Last month, we gave you these hypothetical questions or situations: #1 (from Andy Lischett) You own a bar in a suburban or rural area and have your own large parking lot. On a busy Friday night a state trooper parks his squad car in a prominent spot in the front of the lot and sits there.  Do you tell him to scram?  #2 (from Andy Lischett) You are at work and go to the vending machines to get a candy bar and a can of pop. You put money in the candy machine, select a Snickers and receive an extra 25 cents change. Great! You put money in the pop machine, select a Pepsi, and the machine short-changes you 25 cents.  Are you entitled to kick the pop machine?


Heather Taylor – #1 – Only if I am a total moron! No I would not ask him to move, I do not think it is a good idea to piss off law enforcement.


#2 - No, it all came out even in the end.


Melinda Holley - #1 - No.  In fact, I make sure all my patrons know the cop is out there so just in case they slip by me and get out the door intending to drive when they shouldn't, they'll see the cop sitting in the parking lot...just waiting.


#2 - No.  It all evened out.  Kicking the vending machine will only ensure it will forever short-change you, keep your money, and not give you what you've selected.  Karma, man, karma.


Andy York - #1 - Nope. It's likely he's there for some reason (and it better not be because the bar's servers are overserving inebriated customers). It could be catching up paperwork, taking a phone call, due to speeding

complaints, etc. Also, it may encourage any of the bar's customers that have overindulged to get a taxi or call for someone to pick them up.


#2 - Nope, Machines are machines and kicking them serves no purpose. If I didn't feel the two malfunctioning machines were a wash, price-wise, then I'd call the customer service number to discuss. And, in fact, I might call them anyways to let them know about the issues with the machines as a courtesy.


Andy Lischett - #1 - Yes. I don't know the legalities, but if it's my property I would tell the policeman to leave and stop scaring away my customers. Maybe he could go and set up an unconstitutional road block... er, "Safety Check," down the road.


#2 - Of course you can morally kick the pop machine... IF you mail the 25 cents from the candy machine back to the vending machine company.


Dick Martin - #1 - nope. anybody that would be scared off by the police presence is somebody i don't want to deal with in the first place.


#2 - haha - no. unless the pop machine does this on a regular basis, in which case it should be fixed.


Jack McHugh - #1 - This is a dumb question given the lack of context and the fact that business owners can't redeploy cops--the assumption here is the cop is just there to check for drunk drivers? What if he's therer cause of fights? Or robberies? Or car jackings? I was wrong this is a stupid question...I'll pass...


#2 - I'm not sure why you think kicking the machine serves any I'll pass on this silly question as well...


Rick Desper - #1 - If I need the parking space, I will politely ask the officer to leave, if all he is doing is sitting there.  I would not tell him to scram out of fear of scaring away clientele.  Am I running a crack house?  I don't think so.


#2 - Questions about "pop machines" confuse this New Englander.  Do they produce pop music?  Do they pop balloons?  In any case, I would not kick the machine, whether I felt entitled to or not.  If the machine had a phone number on it, I might call it and demand my quarter. 


Heath Gardner - #1 - I wouldn't tell him anything, but I'd ask him if he could move his car please sir. Then I'd walk away whispering lyrics to NWA's "Fuck Tha Police' .


#2 - What the hell is pop? Oh, you mean soda. And I guess you're entitled to kick the machine if that's what you're into. It's not going to do anything, but if you want to risk breaking your foot, it's your world!


Tom Howell - #1 - No.


#2 - Just laugh it off as breaking even.  Entitled?  Not.  Not ever.


Robin ap Cynan - #1 - No, I offer him food and drink! Keeps the bad guys away, and useful if there's a bar brawl.


#2 - Sure- but why bother? You're square on the deal!


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 – You are going to lose one of your five senses.  You don’t know which one.  But your doctor can ensure that one in particular is NOT the one lost.  So which sense do you choose to protect?   #2 – You climb a mountain and meet a guru.  He will correctly answer one yes or no question for you.  What do you ask?



The Dining Dead -
The Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


No visits to the theater this month.  It was a hard October.


Seen on DVD and Netflix – Side Effects (B-, this would have done better in the theaters if they marketed it properly.  It’s not a movie about strange side effects, it’s a mystery about what is true and what isn’t).  Paranormal Activity 4 (B, more of the same, which is fun despite the central plot not being that important.  But it does tie in to the other movies as well).  Drones (B, low budget independent film but it had a lot of laughs and some familiar faces, even if it didn’t have a very good ending).  Nick of Time (B-, seen it before but it’s still a decent pounder, with a very effective Christopher Walken and an understated Johnny Depp).  Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (C-, rather boring.  Skip it).  Room 237 (B-, a collection of The Shining fanatics explain their personal theories on what Kubrick was trying to do.  Some interesting thoughts).


Couldn’t Fight Our Way Through: Bubble; Lucky; Upside Down; Keep Your Distance; The Intruder.


Meet Me In Montauk
The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


John Wilman: Regarding SF and SF writers, I am more of a Zelazny than a Vonnegut man, though I did enjoy "Cats Cradle", which I would definitely read again.  I see that Fred Pohl died recently - my favourite story of his was "The day the icicle works closed down".


[[I still have one or two 60’s era zines with Zelazny stories in them….]]


Richard Weiss: I never heard of Eternal Sunshine, or vaguely so only, before receiving this zine.  The quote used for last month's issue caught my attention and made we wonder about actually reading it and then I realized probably it was a movie, so I'd have to see it.  That's good, because I haven't read a complete novel for about 35 years.  I have watched a complete movie in those years.  I'm thinking about Gravity this month and Tom Hanks as Captain Something" seems as though it might be fun with the GF.


[[You will either love Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or absolutely hate it.  There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground.]]


Andy York: On the Hypotheticals from last time, for #1 look at the recent articles/interviews from the person from Life magazine that obtained the Zapruder film of Kennedy's final moments. He treated the individual and his employees with respect, didn't badger Zapruder and was a gentleman all around. That's what ended up with him gaining the rights to the film.


[[…or at least that’s his side of the story!]]


Andy Bate: After my bigging up of Trent Richardson last time, he's been a big disappointment, but Donald Brown has stepped up and taken up some of the slack.  And the D has come together really well.  I'm excited about the Colts this season.


As for the NFC East, the one thing it has going for it is a four-way fight for the divisional winner.


[[The big question is, will someone win the division with a losing record?]]


I hadn't thought about the impact of a second wild card on trading, but I'm not sure that that's necessarily a bad thing.  What is a bad thing is the way the O's went to pieces at the end of the season, but from where we were a couple of seasons ago, I'll take the last two seasons as a big plus.  And hope for more of the same again next season.


[[I prefer more trades, especially the “rent-a-player” trades where the player in question has no contract for the following year.]]


Mark Nelson: I was reading a book review and I thought that the following may (or may not!) be of interest to some of your readers. The book being reviewed is `What Money Can't Buy' by Michael Sander.


[In the final chapter] Sandel takes a trip down memory lane to the baseball of his childhood and the way it has been spoiled by commercialism.


 This has apparently led to "more protracted at bats, more walks, more pitches thrown, more pitching changes, less free swinging, less daring on the base paths, fewer bunts and stolen bases". (Non-baseball fans will have to take his word that this is a bad thing). More significantly, ballparks were until recently "places where corporate executives sat side by side with blue-collar workers, where everyone waited in the same line to buy hotdogs or beer, and where rich and poor alike got rained on if it rained": Now vastly expensive `skyboxes' keep the haves and have-nots strictly segregated. If we want a single word to summarise the damage wrought by "the era of market triumphalism", Sandel proposes it should be "skyboxidication"


[[Personally I think at most baseball parks or stadiums there is not much sense of separation.  Nobody cares about the skybox fans.  For some games you can get a good seat (not right behind home plate, but on either side of the stadium or the home run porch for a very low price.  It’s American Football that has seen a split in fandom, but in that case it is between those who watch the games and those who can actually afford to GO to one.  Parking alone at the “Death Star” (where the Cowboys play) is something like $50.]]



Eternal Sunshine Index – ESI

A Scientific Measure of Zine Health

Current Index: 63.76 +1.48%





The Eternal Sunshine Index is a stock-market-like index of the zine. You 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: Despite a few NMR’s, and the further decline in former players’ value, participation remains high and the ESI has been pushed upwards to a new high.  And, yes, Larry Peery gets positive price action for his contributions, not negative.  Is this a top, or a new leg up?


AJK - Allison Kent



ALM - Hank Alme



AMB - Amber Smith



AND - Lance Anderson



BAB - Chris Babcock



BAT - Andy Bate



BIE - John Biehl



BLA - Larry Peery



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



DGR - David Grabar



DTC - Brendan Whyte



DUK - Don Williams



FRD - Fred Wiedemeyer



FRG - Jeremie Lefrancois



FRT - Mark Firth



GAR - Heath Gardner



GRA - Graham Wilson



HAP - Hugh Polley



HDT - Heather Taylor



HLJ - Harley Jordan



JOD - Jeff O'Donnell



KMP - Geoff Kemp



KVT - Kevin Tighe



LAT - David Latimer



LCR - Larry Cronin



MRK - Mark Nelson



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



RWE - Richard Weiss



SAK - Jack McHugh



TAP - Jim Burgess



VOG - Pat Vogelsang



WAY - W. Andrew York



WLK - Richard Walkerdine



WWW - William Wood



YLP - Paul Milewski





Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?

Rules in ES #58.  Send in your guesses.  I’ve played this in Brandon Whyte’s Damn the Consequences a few times and it’s fun, takes only a minute or two each turn, and helps you work your brain!  As soon as this one ends, a new one will begin.




Brendan Whyte:


Phil Spector in Edmonton


Phil Murphy:


Stephen King in Lincoln, NE


Kevin Wilson:


Socrates in Lima, Peru


Tom Howell:


John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough in Melbourne, Australia

Paraic Reddington:


Winston Churchill in Lagos, Nigeria


Dane Maslen:


Archimedes in Nairobi, Kenya


Jim Burgess:


Sir John Franklin in Thule (Qaanaaq) Greenland


Richard Weiss:


Oliver Cromwell in Novosibirsk, Russia


Jack McHugh:


Adolf Hitler in Johannesburg, South Africa


Andy Lischett:


Little Richard in Little Rock, Arkansas


Marc Ellinger:


Julius Caesar in New York City


Martin Burgdorf:


Charles Aznavour in Paris, France


John Biehl:


Leonard Nimoy in Juist, Germany


Mark Firth:


Lassie in Laramie, Wyoming

Hint to Closest Guess Geographically: I was born within a year or two of your death.




Richard Weiss:


Ovid, in Mogadishu, Somalia


Brendan Whyte:


Aristotle on Diego Garcia


Kevin Wilson:


Rob Lowe in Abidjan, République de Côte d'Ivoire


Andy Lischett:


Little Richard in Johannesburg, S.A.


Jack McHugh:


Peter the Great in Bangkok, Thailand 

Tom Howell:


Adam Smith in Dunedin, NZ


Phil Murphy:


J. Edgar Hoover in Paris, France


Martin Burgdorf:


Freddie Mercury in Prague


Heath Gardner:


Michael Richards in Mogadishu, Somalia


Rick Desper:


Nicole Kidman in Harare, Zimbabwe


Dane Maslen:


Archimedes in Manila, Philippines


John Biehl:


Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore


Paraic Reddington:


George Bush Sr. in Madagascar


Marc Ellinger:


Joseph Pulitzer in Montevideo


Mark Firth:


Charlton Heston in Lome (Togo)


Jim Burgess:


Meryl Streep in Honolulu, Hawaii


Hint to Closest Guess Geographically: Again, I was born within a few years of your death too.






Kevin Wilson:


John Walter Scott in Fairbanks Alaska


Dane Maslen:


Immanuel Kant in Jakarta


Rick Desper:


Immanuel Kant in Singapore


Brendan Whyte:


Plato in Kinshasa, DR Congo


Tom Howell:


Adam Smith in Jakarta


Jack McHugh:


Samuel Adams in Singapore


Andy Lischett:


Adam Smith in Jakarta






Paraic Reddington:


Wyatt Earp in Labrador City, Canada


Richard Weiss:


Barack Obama, Washington, DC


Martin Burgdorf:


John Quincy Adams in Quebec, Canada


Heath Gardner:


James K. Polk in Sydney, Australia


Marc Ellinger:


Pierro Orsini in Jakarta


Jim Burgess:


James Fenimore Cooper in Sydney, Australia


John Biehl:


Baron Munchhausen in Timor (No city given, Dili chosen)


Mark Firth:


Freddie Spencer, Lanzarote, Canary Islands


Hint to Closest Guess Geographically: I am known for my connection to written material, as some of you are, but not of my own, and not of the volume you produced.  I held a title similar in ways to one of you, but a far more common one.




Tom Howell:


Unknown in Bandung, Indonesia ß Mistakenly said was closest


Jim Burgess:


William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensbury, in Singaraja, Bali


Dane Maslen:


Robert Andrews (1723-1766) in Jakarta, Indonesia


Marc Ellinger:


Jeremy Collier in Surabaya, Indonesia


Martin Burgdorf:


Joseph Smith in Canberra, Australia


Paraic Reddington:


Edgar Allen Poe in Quebec, Canada


Andy Lischett:


Sam Adams in Jakarta, Indonesia


Rick Desper:


Sir William Blackstone in Perth, Australia


Heath Gardner:


Paul Revere in Jakarta, Indonesia



Mark Firth:


The Scarlet Pimpernel in Port Moresby



Kevin Wilson:


Maximilian Hell (born Rudolf Maximilian Höll) in Surabaya, Indonesia


Hint to (WRONG) Closest Guess Geographically: I was a carbon-based life form.  I have no way of knowing if you were, are, or will be.




Jim Burgess:


William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensbury in Bandung, Indonesia


Tom Howell:


Joseph Hergenroether in Tegal, Indonesia


Dane Maslen:


Robert Andrews (1723-1766) in Bandung, Indonesia


Paraic Reddington:


John Duncan in Purwakarta, Indonesia


Andy Lischett:


Sam Adams on Christmas Island


Brendan Whyte:


Maggie Thatcher in Kathmandu, Nepal


Heath Gardner:


Robert Andrews (translator) in Bandung, Indonesia


Jack McHugh:


Samuel Johnson in Darwin, Australia


Rick Desper:


Sir William Blackstone in Semarang, Indonesia


Marc Ellinger:


Sir William Blackstone in Cilacap, Indonesia


Martin Burgdorf:


Joseph Smith in Jakarta Raya, Indonesia


John Biehl:


David Hume in Krakatoa, Indonesia


Kevin Wilson:


Richard Hurd in Cirebon, Indonesia


Mark Firth:


The Count of Monte Cristo in Bogor, Indonesia


Hint to Closest Guess Geographically: I died before you were born, and did not follow the same religion as you although we were both religious men.   


Game Cancelled!


I totally screwed this one.  On Turn 4 I said Tom Howell had the closest answer, which he did not.  I only now realized that.  Jakarta is closer than Bandung.  That’s the last freaking time I will choose a city in Indonesia…I had to switch to because my normal distance calculator didn’t recognize some of the names. I hope you’ll join in the new game.  Some of you were getting close in terms of who it was, and if I hadn’t fucked it up you might have found the town.


The answer was:  The Reverend John Witherspoon in Depok, Indonesia


A new game starts now.  Please give it another shot, the first go around was fun but I screwed the pooch here.


Deadline for Turn 1 of new game is: November 26 at 7am my time

By Larry Peery

“Un armiee marche sur son estomac et une louche joue sur sa vessie,” as one Francophone Dipper said in Paris at WDC 2013.  For those who don’t speak French that roughly translates as, “an army marches on its stomach and a Dipper plays on his bladder.”

This report on all things “gastronomie de la diplomatie” contains a series of short items about eating, drinking and playing Diplomacy at this year’s WDC 2013, and a few other things that just seemed to belong here.

A Foodie Looks at Paris
Eight trends are radically changing the food scene in Paris and not for the better. Although I mentioned some of them in other articles elsewhere they bear repeating, primarily because I am sad to say my observations and experiences in Paris tend to confirm them.

1) The old chefs and restaurant owners of Paris are retiring in every increasing numbers at a rapidly increasing pace.
2) Many of the older and more famous restaurants and brasseries in central Paris are closing and re-opening in the suburbs as less expensive and less complex establishments.
3) Younger chefs are opening restaurants outside Paris and in its distant suburbs, and even in England where opening a restaurant costs one-third of what it does in France.
4) New cooks are mostly recruited from France overseas (e.g. Arabia, Africa, and Asia).
5) New wait staff appears to be mostly from France overseas (males), although most waitresses still seem to be natives of France.
6) Commissary prepared food is replacing on site preparation in many mid-level restaurants and brasseries, especially in the tourist areas.
7) Menus in places that depend on the commissaries for their product are being increasingly standardized, as is the food.
8) Prices now depend more on the rent the restaurant owner is paying than on the cost of the ingredients and labor.

More information on all this can be found in stories like “Dirty Secret of French Restaurants Out as Food Origin Sought,” (Bloomberg, 6/26/2013); “What Makes a Restaurant ‘a restaurant’ in France?,” (Yahoo, 6/24/2013); “French Foodies Fight Boil-in-a-bag Trend,” (NY Times, 6/11/2013); “A French Dining Staple Is Losing Its Place at the Table,” (NY Times, 7/31/2013); “Pain Poilane,” (NY Times, 6/18/2008); “McDonald’s Offers France a High-Calorie McBaguette,” (Business Week, 7/30/2013); and “From Lab to Fork,” (Global Times, 8/16/2013).

Some cases in point. The old rule about “Location, Location, and Location” applies to eating and drinking in Paris just like it does anywhere else. For example, a milk shake (albeit a very good milk shake) at the Brasserie St. Michel right outside the RER station cost USD12 and a small bottle of Evian water cost USD8!  But I was sitting outside in a hot tourist area; and I paid accordingly. By comparison a bottle of Evian twice the size of the one I got at the brasserie cost 78 cents at the local supermarket.  A bottle of Coke (Pepsi is not an option in Paris.) cost $2.70 from a machine in a Metro station, but only 60 cents at the supermarket. The best meal I had at WDC 2013 was probably on my first visit to City Crepes Café (70 Rue de Seine, one block from the site Hotel.) A dinner crepe of ham and cheese, a desert crepe with strawberries, and a glass of wine cost me UD32, including tax and service. Food, service, and ambiance were all very good. I even dragged Edi back to the place for a second visit. One night Xavier took us on one of his infamous “wild goose chases” in search of “the perfect little place I know just around the corner,” which turned out to be half-way across Paris. A so-so dinner that didn’t impress me at all (I can’t even remember what I had.) cost about US60. Edi and I fared better on a meal run with Jean Louis Delattre who found a good restaurant with a good wine list. I had a lasagna that wasn’t anything like an Italian lasagna, but it wasn’t bad. The wine was, as it always is when Jean-Louis picks it, very good. Finding anything more than a croissant and coffee (USD10, if you please.) for breakfast is almost impossible. One solution to that problem I found is to do what I describe below.  Another night I didn’t feel like a long walk to find some place to eat (Most places in the area of the Hotel were packed with tourists during the dinner hour.) so Edi and I ended up at a charcuterie that specialized in ham (jabon) just down the street from the hotel.  It was the most expensive meal I had on the trip, USD127 for the two of us. No matter what you ordered to eat it had ham of some kind in it. And, since it was a ham and drinks bar that made sense. It was marginally good, but the service and ambiance were nothing special.  During my sight-seeing day walk about I had lunch at the Guimet Museum. Museums and other public places often have good places to eat and the Guimet was no exception. Since it was an Asian museum I expected an Asian menu and since the cooks and wait staff looked Asian I figured I was on the right track. Another plus was that 90% of the customers appeared to be Asian women. They all glanced at me when I walked in and sat down, but they really started to stare when I asked for and started to use my chopsticks. I was the only one in the place doing so. I ordered dim sum for a first course (4 pieces) and ravioli (eight pieces) for a main. That, plus a glass of wine and pot of tea, cost me USD34, but at least I got my money’s worth and entertained the other customers to boot. Both the waitress and cashier complimented me on my skills with the chopsticks. A word about food on site at the WDC. Because the school where the games were being held was in a primarily residential area and the hours were a bit strange there weren’t a lot of eating options near-by. The event organizers dealt with this by making sure that food (in the form of baguettes of two types:  with ham and cheese, or with ham, cheese and butter) and drinks (Coke, Diet Coke, Heineken, and some strange forms of orange soda pop) were available pretty much on demand. That was it. Cash transactions were kept to a minimum by using a coupon system. You bought a supply of tickets (5 or 10 at a time) and used them for your purchases.  Prices were fair. It was a simple and efficient system. I didn’t see much in the way of take-out food or pizza containers, and I only saw one wine bottle during the entire WDC. Finally: what about my search for the McBaguette? Well, there were no McDonalds to be found near the Hotel or game venue and by my last day in Paris I was starting to panic. Fortunately I knew there was a McDonalds in the international arrivals building (e.g. The Donut) at CDG airport, so I wasn’t too worried. After Edi and I arrived at the airport (Merci for the ride, Emmanuel!) and said our good byes, and I got rid of my luggage, I headed down to the basement looking for the McDonald’s. It was a large area with perhaps 200 seats in it, of which only 20 were occupied.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!  It was still early and only breakfast was being served but there was no McBaguette on the menu at all. It was a very limited selection McDonald’s. So, I contented myself with a Bacon and Egg McMuffin, a Bacon and Beef (??) McMuffin, a potato wedge, and an apple juice for USD8. I sniffled all the way home to LAX (Los Angeles Airport) where, 17 hours later, I consoled myself with a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger and Pommes Frites! So nice to be home!!

And what of the culinary future of Paris? On the one hand the future is now. Just the week before the WDC an English research group served the first batch of the world’s first test-tube hamburger, produced entirely from synthetically grown meat. To quote: “Let’s get one thing clear: this ain’t your grandma’s Quorn. This is stem cells extracted from cows, grown into muscle tissue, mixed with beetroot juice and breadcrumbs, and soon, fried up as a history-making lunch. The team that has spent months, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, developing the Frankenburger hopes lab-grown meat will one day help feed the world’s hungry and reduce our carbon footprint --- provided they can get it tasting right. Bon appetit!”  On the other hand , Nicolas Beliard, the first manager of the new Paris Peninsula Hotel on Ave. Kleber, didn’t bat an eye when he told me that room rates would start at USD1600 a night (Suites would be double that) and the 7 course prix fix dinner for two would run nearly USD1,000 without wines.


Somewhere, in the middle, there has to be a gastronomical “sweet spot.” Right, Doug?

Alternative Suggestions for Eating on the Cheap in Expensive Paris.
Rick Steves offered the following suggestions for eating cheaply in Europe (USA Today, 10/6/2013), but they make especially good sense in Paris.

1) Ethnic eateries: Middle Eastern, Pakistani, and Asian food.
2) Cafeterias:  Department stores often offer “self-service” food service of good quality.
3) Institution-Affiliated Eateries: Museums, schools, hospitals, etc.
4) Bakeries and Sandwich shops: The Danes have elevated sandwich making and eating to an art form. Patisseries do the same in Paris.
5) McEurope: McDonald’s is number one in Paris, but Korean-owned Paris Baguettes is moving up fast.

If You’re Looking for Something New and Different
Try my friend Margaux’s new Le Café des Chats, a Coffee Cats Café, in Paris (16 rue Michel Le Comte, open 12h to 22h daily). Coffee with cats is a café, a tea room, a restaurant with the distinction of a large number of cats that live there.  Humans are tolerated as long as they behave and pay their bills promptly.


More information online with a Google search.
For the more adventuresome seek out Café Quai Ludes just behind the Institute of France facing the Square Gabriel Pierne. It’s a bit hard to find but well worth the effort. Known as the Hash House among Paris’ elite effete crowd Quai Ludes specializes in such things as Campbell’s canned Tomato Soup (served in the can) with Beluga caviar, and farm-raised whale blubber imported from Qatar.

The Fruits of Paris, France and Oceanside, California.
On my first stay at the Hotel La Louisiane  I noticed a rather dingy hole-in-the-wall food market across the street. I ventured in once and never went back. This time, like the Hotel and the rest of the neighborhood, the foot market had morphed into a Carrefour market, the world’s largest food market chain. It was very much like most American supermarkets, only smaller. I guesstimate the store was one-fourth the size of a US supermarket. How do they do it? It’s simple. They carry essentially the same products but they offer fewer brands and fewer size options. Where a Wal-Mart, Kroger or Safeway might have a hundred kinds of sodas available in eight different sizes, or  a hundred different brands, varieties, and sizes of frozen lasagna a Carrefour will have four or five. But since I’d heard that food was so much more expensive in Europe than the USA I was curious to compare prices. I decided to do it by comparing the prices and quality of fruits from Carrefour and Stater Brothers, a local supermarket chain at home. Here’s a sampling of what I found. Keep in mind that USD1 equals Euro1.35 and US 2.2 pounds equals 1 kilogram.  Gala and Golden apples were US1 per pound in Oceanside, USA and USD2 per pound in Paris. Bananas were USD.69 per pound here and USD1.62 per pound in Paris. Blueberries were USD5 a pound here, and USD10.80 in Paris. Croissants were USD1 in Oceanside, and USD.70 in Paris. Red Grapes were USD1 here and USD2.50 in Paris. One Lemon was USD.89 in Oceanside, and USD2 a pound in Paris. Oranges were USD2 a pound in Oceanside, and USD1.75 in Paris. Bartlett pears were USD1 in Oceanside, and USD1.75 in Paris. Strawberries were USD2.50 in Oceanside, and USD9.50 per pound in Paris. A medium size watermelon in Oceanside was $5.00, and USD12.50 in Paris. Interestingly, most items in the Oceanside store came from California and all came from the USA. In Paris items came from all over: Golden apples from Italy, Limes from Mexico, Green grapes from Italy, Pineapples from Costa Rica, Oranges from Spain and South Africa (The ones from South Africa cost one-half what the ones from Spain cost!), Lemons from Argentina, Pomelos from South Africa, Kiwis from New Zealand, Mangos from Israel, and Raspberries from Portugal. Quality wise the Oceanside offerings tended to look better, but the Parisian selection tasted better. No surprise there.

The photo illustrates what I bought for USD10 in Paris. Edi and I had a bountiful Petite Dejeuner one morning out of all of it.

Eat, Drink, and Play Dip!
Dippers like to eat and drink, and from the looks of it most of them, at least in the USA, do too much of both! ‘nuff said. J

The Lasagne Grand Prix (2013 edition)
I’ve been searching for the perfect lasagna since before I was born. How can that be, you wonder? Before I was born but while my mother was carrying me she worked in an Italian restaurant in San Diego called Caesar’s and Pastore’s. Yes, Caesar, as in Caesar’s Salad. As part of their compensation package each of the staff got a free meal per shift. The big treat came on Sunday night when they all got a lasagne and all the trimmings dinner made by Mr. Caesar himself. My mother always said that my craving for Italian food came from those early days.

(Skipping ahead some 66 years and over some ten pages of Italian restaurant reviews.).

 For some reason lasagne (For the record, lasagne is the Italian form, lasagna is usually used in America. Some people suggest lasagne noodles are flat while American lasagna noodles have the curled edges.) was on my mind as I headed for Paris, perhaps because I knew I was in for a superb Italian dinner, including lasagne, at Rosina’s when I got home. I decided to keep my eye out for lasagne in Paris, just for kicks.

The first lasagna I ran into was on the United Airlines flight from Chicago to Paris. What they gave us wasn’t bad (See below.) and was comparable to what you get from a Stouffer’s frozen lasagna. And since Stouffer’s sells over 80 million frozen lasagnas in 21 varieties and five sizes a year, who’s going to complain? Stouffer’s advertises its lasagna as “America’s Favorite Lasagna,” and it may well be. Certainly, like McDonalds and Starbucks it is a name brand enjoyed by millions. This is what the Stouffer’s spokesperson told me,

“You had asked if the recipes are exactly the same across the variety of sizes. There’s some slight variation. Here’s why: While the ingredients are basically the same for our Meat & Sauce varieties, as an example, our proportions vary due to the fact that we hand layer our freshly made pasta. We use semolina flour and make the dough from scratch and then size the noodles differently depending on what size tray is being used for the various sized recipes. That affects how much sauce, cheese, other ingredients are present in each recipe.

“In addition to making our own lasagna noodles, we also make our own macaroni for our wonderful Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese. This makes us the largest fresh pasta company in the country!” (Thanx to Roz O’Hearn for the info.)

This might sound like a puff piece for Stouffer’s but it isn’t. In fact it is a paean to America’s food industry. Stouffer’s serves tens of millions of people a good product at a reasonable price every year. (Warning: Just be sure the plate of lasagna is smaller than the plate of salad you have with it, and don’t salt it!). On the other  hand , Filippi’s, my favorite local Italian restaurant chain has served some 4,818,000 lasagna dinners since they opened the year I was born. In the five year’s she’s been open Rosina has served an average of five lasagne dinners a night (50 on nights when there’s a lasagne special!).

In Paris I had lasagna, or what passed for it, on three different occasions in three different restaurants. Two were obviously commissary prepared and one was so bad it couldn’t possibly have come out of a commissary. The first tasted like a French take on lasagna and it was quite good. The second came closest to the Italian version of lasagna but the noodles and béchamel  sauce were floating on a pool of tomato sauce with no meat to be found. It was satisfactory. The third, which turned out to be the most expensive item I ate on the trip, was from the ham bistro down from the Hotel. It had plenty of ham in it and the crepe type noodles Europeans favor. However, it was so salty I could hardly eat it. Afterwards my one desire was to brush my teeth. Rate it very poor. Nope, sorry Paris, I’ve had better lasagna in Buenos Aires, Mildura, Hong Kong and Seoul; not to mention Oceanside. Oh, in comparison to what I had in Paris let me mention the five course dinner with six wines that I had at Rosina’s for USD80, including tax and service. The lasagne, by the way, was excellent.

A Bit of Shangri-la in San Marcos, California
Where do Dippers go on their holidays? After all that hard work in Paris I decided a few days of R&R near home were in order, so I headed over to a new old place just over the hill from me in San Marcos. Check out the website for the LakeHouse Hotel and Resort for more details on where I stayed for four nights. During the day I relaxed by the pool, walked the golf course (Well, three holes worth.), watched the ducks and fowl paddle their way around the lake, worked on my Paris reports, and debated on what to have for my next meal. During my visit I found mostly good to very good restaurants nearby. I sampled Argentine, Chinese, Indian restaurants and the local golf resort’s restaurant for dinner; and an American breakfast café (Mama Kats) and a couple of taco joints for breakfast burritos. I only had one bad eating experience while I was there.  Ironically it was an Italian restaurant and the culprit was, you guessed it, lasagna! Ristorante Carmela Cucina Italiana didn’t live up to its internet reviews. Since it had good reviews, was the only Italian restaurant in a town of 85,000,and every other place I’d eaten in San Marcos was at least good, I figured I was safe. I wasn’t. I look at four things when I eat out: 1) Food, 2) Service, 3) Ambience, and  4) Value. From the top: 1) Food: Fig and prosciutto appetizer ($11.95) was OK but the ham had obviously been sliced by the morning prep cook and was dry; Jumbo scallops ($10.00) broiled to perfection with bacon and served in a scampi sauce were not jumbo, were either over-broiled or left under a heat lamp too long, and the scampi sauce was so salty (from the bacon, I assume) as to be almost uneatable; lasagna with Bolognese sauce with meat and ricotta ($18.95) had only one problem --- no meat in the sauce that I could detect. Taste wise it wasn’t any better than Stouffer’s or United Airlines lasagna; two glasses of house wine ($12.50). With tax and service, $64.00. 2) Service: Perhaps because I didn’t have a reservation and I was by myself Carmelo and Zoro ignored me while others were seated (A party of eight or ten seemed too much for them to deal with.). When I was finally seated service seemed to vary from non-existent to erratic. The soup came and then there was a long pause before the salad arrived. Then another pause. Then the figs. Then another salad. Then the bus boy cleared the table, including the bread and butter and all the silverware.  Then the waiter, who was French and very personable, brought out the  scallops which I had specifically asked for as a separate course, followed immediately by the lasagna (He said, “If I don’t bring it now it won’t be ready for 20 minutes because of the large party!”)  By the time I got to the lasagna it was cold. And again the bus boy kept clearing the table before I was finished. Finally I gulped down the last of my wine, signed the charge slip and ran for the door as I heard Carmelo saying to my back, “Thank you. Be sure to come again.” I think not.

As you can see, when wining and dining as in Diplomacy, you can winsome and you can losesome. (Thanx, Judy, I haven’t forgotten you!)There were highs and lows at the Diplomacy table, just as there were at the dining tables from Oceanside to Paris and back, but all in all it was a good way to be back in FTF after a too long absence.

















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 #60




I’m working and moved to Philadelphia, and I’ve been busy studying for a few certification tests.  I haven’t failed any yet.  So my life doesn’t suck as much as it did a few months ago.  Bite me.



Why do women have small feet?

 So they can stand closer to the kitchen sink.


Why haven’t they sent a woman to the moon yet?

 It doesn’t need cleaning.


Why is a woman’s pussy like a warm toilet seat?

 They both feel good, but you wonder who was there before you.



I was gonna run a game soon, but I don’t have enough time right now.  Besides, I don’t want it to be a slow nightmare like Bwad’s Balkan Wars game.


Selections from The Macmillan Dictionary of Measurement ISBN 0-02-525750-1

by Paul Milewski


Alcohol content:  The liquor trade has, by tradition, used the proof system to express alcohol content: 100 proof is approximately 52% of alcohol by volume.  The name of the system came about through the fact that measurement of the alcohol content of wines and spirits in Britain was formerly the responsibility of the same proof houses that tested the safety of firearms.  A 100-proof spirit is a mixture of alcohol and water in precisely the right proportions that when it is poured over gunpowder the gunpowder can still just be ignited with a flame.


Barn:  Extremely small unit of area, used for expressing the effective cross-sectional area of the nucleus of an atom.  1 barn = 10-23 square meter = 1.55 x 10-25 square inch.  This measure expresses the probability that a particular subatomic particle can be captured by a nucleus.  The unit was devised in 1942 by the American nuclear physicists C.P. Baker and H.G. Halloway, and so named—apocryphally—because, compared with a subatomic particle, an atomic nucleus is “as big as a barn door”: an unmissable target.  See also shed.


Shed:  An extremely small unit of area (nuclear cross-section), equal to 10-52 square meter.  1 shed = 10-24 barn.  The unit was given the name as a “smaller version” of the barn.


Caliber:  The size of the barrel of a gun, rifle, or pistol.  Originally, the barrel sizes of artillery pieces—large-caliber weapons—were stated in terms of the weight of the shot they fired.  If the shot was spherical and made of iron, its weight also defined its diameter.  Guns were given a designation such as “12-pounder”, which specified the caliber.  This method of measurement was carried over to smaller-caliber weapons, such as muzzle-loading rifles and pistols but, for these, the caliber was defined by the lead balls (spherical bullets) they fired, in terms of the number of balls that could be cast from a pound weight of lead.  Thus, the balls for a 16-bore rifle weight 16 to the pound (that is, one ounce each), corresponding to a ball—and barrel—diameter of about 1.73 centimeters (0.68 inch).  The system is still commonly used for shotguns, a popular size being 12-bore (called 12-gauge in the United States).  When bullets ceased to be spherical—becoming, appropriately, bullet-shaped—the bore system was no longer suitable and, from that time, calibers were generally stated in terms of the diameter of the barrel.  In Britain and the United States, calibers were originally in inches, although “inch” was not stated.  Common calibers for rifles and pistols are .22, .300, .303, .38, and .45.  In Continental Europe, calibers were given in millimeters, such as 9 mm.  Since the advent of NATO, millimeter calibers have become standard in the armed forces of nearly all Western nations.  Larger-caliber weapons may still retain their various “inches” (4-inch mortar) or “”millimeters” (80-millimeter canon) designations.  The term derives through French and Italian from Arabic qalib “a bar on which to work (iron, leather, or other malleable materials)”, from the time when barrels for firearms were made of iron wrought to shape by being beaten while being constantly turned over a rounded surface.


Corn-hog ratio:  In the United States’ pig-farming industry, the ratio of the market price of one hog weighing 100 pounds (45.359 kilograms) to that of one US bushel (0.9689 UK bushel, 35.238 liters, 1.244 cubic feet) of con (maize), used as an indication of profit margins.


Eric:  In medieval Ireland, the blood money paid by a murderer or accidental killer (or his family) to the victim’s family in full and complete satisfaction for the death, so that no further punishment or obligation would be imposed or sought.  The Irish word éiric, from which “eric” derives, in present-day Irish Gaelic means no more than “forfeit”, “retributive loss”.


Farthing:  Coin formerly used in Britain, and worth one-quarter of one penny.  In fact, this was the proportion that gave it its name (“fourth-ing”).  In the time of Geoffrey Chaucer (late 1300s), however, when few had detailed knowledge of arithmetic, the word was used for any small measure or quantity (of land, of a substance, etc.).  The sixteenth-century translators of the New Testament of the Bible used “farthing” to represent the Roman coins as and quadrans.


Furlong:  A measure of land that was once commonly used to express the length or perimeter of a property, but that is now used almost exclusively to describe the various distance of horse races at racecourses.  1 furlong = one-eighth of a mile = 10 chains = 40 rods (or poles) = 220 yards = 660 feet = 201.168 meters.  It may be useful also to note that 1 square furlong = 10 acres—a measure that in fact gave the furlong its name, for the 10-acre square was he standard size of a medieval English field.  Each furrow plowed down the length of the field would then be 220 yards or “one furrow long”—1 furlong.


King-size, king-sized:  An expression meaning merely “larger than standard” and initially applied mainly to cigarettes or cigars, although then extended to just about anything else (notably beds and headaches).


Knave:  In cards, the court card of value between the 10 and the queen, otherwise known as the jack, the court page, or the soldier.  The term “knave” has nothing of the intrinsically villainous in its medieval derivation: Old English cnafa mean merely “youngster”, and, by medieval times, that connection had changed to “smart young man”, in which the smartness applied both to clothes or uniform (court page, soldier, and later in the 1700s, liveried manservant) and to streetwise guile (jack the lad).  It was the Victorians who really put the boot in and made a knave the kind of scurvy villain who went around stealing tarts.


Marathon:  The marathon is, in effect, a commemoration of the legendary feat of the Athenian courier Pheidippides who in 490 BC is said to have run from the site of the Battle of Marathon (between Greeks and Persians) some 36.7497 kilometers (22 miles 1,470 yards) back to Athens to proclaim the Greek victory.  Having, in the previous days, run no fewer than 160 kilometers (100 miles), however—and despite apparently having received verbal encouragement from the god Pan—he dropped dead on arrival at Athens after gasping out his message.  The battle took its name from the Plain of Marathon, on which it was fought, and the plain was itself so called because it was overgrown with fennel (Green marathron, Latin marathrum).


Nickel:  In the United States and Canada, half of a dime, worth 5 cents.  Minted first in the United States in 1794, it was originally a silver coin and known only as a “half-dime”.  The change of metal from silver (last issued 1873) to cupronickel in 1883 caused the change also of its popular name—although there had been a 1 cent coin in the 1850s also called a nickel.  The metal from which the coin gets its name is so called as an abbreviation of the German Kupflernickel “copper demon”—it looks like copper ore but copper cannot be refined from it.  With the second element, nickel “dwarf”, “demon”, “troll”, cf. English “(Old) Nick”, the devil, and nixie, a water-nymph.


Pica:  Unit used to measure type in printing, more specifically to measure the width of book or newspaper columns, and to give some idea of the average number of characters per line.  1 pica = 1/8 inch = 12 points.  The name of the unit derives, it is thought, from the type first used in printing the book of daily services for the medieval Church (a book known in Church Latin as a Pica).  The book probably only got that name because the type used gave it such clarity in black and white, and “black-and-white” in Latin is picus, pica (hence English pie, pied as in “piebald”, “pied piper”).  But the meaning “black-and-white” in Latin derives in turn from the predominantly black-and-white bird, the woodpecker (Latin picus) and the magpie (Latin pica), which have notoriously hard, prominent bills—Latin pic- is the same as the English beak, peck, pike, and pick.


Seven-league boots:  Magic boots that allow the wearer to travel seven leagues at each step.  Unfortunately, the league is not a constant measure, and seven of them amount to anything between 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) and 24.2 miles (38.9 kilometers), depending on whether the wearer calculates by the metric leage (the shortest league), the US league, the UK league on land, or the UK league at sea (the longest league).  A wearer must remember to take the boots off before going indoors.

Thimbleful:  An informal measure used commonly in Victorian times for dispensing very small amounts of brandy or strong wine (especially to ladies or to the elderly).  It seems that—just as with teaspoon(ful)s—thimbles are and were apparently larger in the United States than in Europe anyway.


Wine gallon:  The wine gallon is the British fifteenth- to seventeenth-century measure of wine that was taken by the rebellious United States as their standard gallon.  1 wine gallon = 1 US gallon = 0.8326 UK gallon.


Troy weight system:  Early standard system of weights, partly incorporated by the apothecaries’ weight system, but superseded in Britain (and therefore in English-speaking countries) by the actually even earlier avoirdupois weight system, and now used only in the measurement of the weights of precious stones and metals.  1 grain = 1 troy ounce = 0.002286 ounce avdp.  24 grains = 1 pennyweight = 0.054857 ounce avdp.  20 pennyweight = 1 troy ounce = 1.09709 ounce avdp.  12 troy ounces = 1 troy pound = 13.1657 ounces avdp.  The pennyweight is still customarily used only in North America; in Britain and elsewhere it is more useful to divide the troy ounce ino decimal fractions (tenths: 0.1 troy ounce = 2 pennyweight).  In any case, the grams and kilograms of the Metric System are now taking over even from the avoirdupois system.  The name of the troy system is thought to derive from the City of Troyes, some 140 kilometers or 90 miles south-east of Paris, France where, in medieval times, great trade fairs were held specifically for dealers in precious stones and metals, for whom the city authorities provided scales and weights that had been verified and authenticated by the local guilds.


Avoirdupois weight system:  The avoirdupois (“having weight” in medieval French) weight system was introduced in England in about AD 1340 and has been the system in everyday use in the English-speaking world ever since, although eclipsed in modern times by the metric weight system.


Nails:  In Britain and some ex-colonies, the standard sizes of domestic wood nails (wire nails or cut blacksmith’s nails).  In the United States, the standard lengths of common nails are expressed in penny sizes.  2 penny size = 1 inch = 875 per lb.  20 penny size = 4 inches = 30 per lb.


Sterling:  Standard of the British pound unit of currency.  The term was first applied to a silver penny issued by the Normans in England but known by the English as a steorling because it had a little star (“star-ling”) depicted on it.  Later the term was applied to the pure form of silver used in other coins.  Today, sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure silver.  By English law, however, the fineness of silver in coins only has to be 0.500—but there is no silver at all in current British coinage anyway.  [Milewski: 12 pence to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound sterling.  The symbol for the pound is £—see the entry for libra .]


Denarius:  Two different coins at different times in ancient Rome, one silver and the other gold.  As a silver coin, it was first issued in 269 BC and rapidly became the standard unit of currency for the Roman Empire.  Its value was not static, however: it was originally equal to 10 asses but, in times of national financial stress, occasionally devalued to 16 asses.  [Milewski: “asses” is the plural of “as”—see the entry for libra below or farthing above.]  Even at such times, by tradition, the imperial army always received its pay at the scale of 10 asses to the denarius.  Indeed, it was as the tenfold unity that it received its name, denarius (“group of 10”).  The name of the coin has historically been borrowed by many succeeding civilizations and cultures, especially Arabic states (see dinar), but one of the few European nations to retain any vestige of it was Britain which, until 1971 and the introduction of decimal coinage, customary abbreviated “pence” as “d.” for “denarii”.


Libra:  A fundamental unit of weight first used as a measure in ancient Rome, where libra was primarily the balance of scales upon which things were weighted (cf. its diminutive libellum from which, through French, the English word level derives), and only later a specific weight.  In ancient Rome, 1 libra = 12 unciae.  [Milewski: see ounce below.]  Linked to the libra but in the Roman currency system, 1 “as” was originally equal to the weight of 1 libra in the Roman currency metal, aes.  Since then, the measure and its name have been used throughout the world in various contexts and various values.  It has often been incorporated into monetary systems—the English pound sterling is abbreviated with a florid crossed L (£), short for libra—the English pound avoirdupois is abbreviated as “lb.”, yet again for libra.


Ounce:  Different units of weight in the avoirdupois weight system and in the troy weight system.  The term derives from the old Roman uncial which, as a measure of weight, was one-twelfth of a larger unit (the libra) just as the troy ounce is.

As usual, my contribution to Eternal Sunshine is wholly devoid of proper literary attribution.


Octopus’s Garden

Issue Eighty-Three - 28th October 2013


HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus’s Garden, the subzeen with its very own waiting list for a 7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy tournament. It is still, however notionally, a subzeen to Jim Burgess’ The Abyssinian Prince, which is now a subzeen to Douglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. It's produced by Peter Sullivan, It's also available on the web at:



With the Railway Rivals game now done and dusted, it’s time to start thinking about what I want to do now that game is complete. For my sins, I’m thinking of running a 7 x 7 Gunboat game. In effect, seven games of Gunboat Diplomacy, with the same seven players, each playing all of the seven countries (A/E/F/G/I/R/T) across the seven boards. There was a bit of a vogue for 7 x 7 in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the North American Hobby. And, more recently, in these very pages, a younger (and more foolish?) Mr. Kent ran a tournament here, with the final results reported in ES 29. Of course, me being me, I’m thinking of a couple of twists on the normal 7 x 7 Tournament format.


Firstly, although the players would, as per standard Gunboat, be anonymous, you would know which player was playing each country. That is, you’d know that the player playing Turkey on Board One was Germany on Board Five, and so on, even though you wouldn’t know who he, she (or it!) was. This, to me, makes it more of a proper tournament, in that you can make decisions on one board based on positions on the other boards, and the overall tournament situation. In the end, the “meta-game” of the tournament is what matters, not necessarily the results on any individual board.


When it comes to accumulating the results across the seven games in order to determine an overall winner, there are several approaches that could be taken. Rather than total supply centre count or total Calhamer Point count (1 point for a win, 1/n points for an n-way draw), I was proposing to use a variation on the old Manorcon Diplomacy Tournament system, which measures “nearness to a win.” Outright winners, obviously, get 100%, and everyone else in that game scores a big, fat zero. For draws, each player in the draw takes a share of the 100% equal to the formula  ¼c2 + c + 4, where c is their final supply centre count. So, for a 9-9-9-7 four-way draw, the maths works out as:






























This system can be a bit counter-intuitive to people brought up on Calhamer Point Count, as it doesn’t necessarily reward eliminating other players. Unless, that is, you directly benefit from it in terms of supply centre count. But actually, this is correct. In a 17-17 draw, both players will score 45.16%. In a seven-way 17-3-3-3-3-3-2 draw, the leader will score 63.65%, the best possible non-win score. By excellent “divide and rule,” this player has got as close to a win as it’s possible to get without actually doing so. And certainly deserves a higher score than the two guys in a 17-17, neither of whom can quite bring themselves to stab the other for the final centre needed for the win. What wusses!


In practice, of course, Gunboat games have a tendency to finish in outright wins much more than Standard games of Diplomacy. I suspect that this is mainly due to the fact that organising a “stop the leader” alliance, whilst not impossible, is obviously more difficult than in the Standard game, since there's no scope for behind-the-scenes co-ordination. Certainly this proved to be the case in the last 7 x 7 tournament to grace these pages (6 outright wins from 7 games, if I remember correctly). So I suspect that the minutiae of the scoring system may not matter all that much, at least in terms of determining the overall winner. Who will, almost certainly, be the player who scores the most outright wins. But, you know, that kinda sounds like an equitable result to me…


So, any interest? Press will be “Grey” (i.e. players’ names are reserved, but otherwise anything goes.) We'll do retreats “American-style” (i.e. preceding the next season), but I'll do a separate season for Winter Adjustments each year. Deadlines will be three-weekly. (Although, given this is Gunboat, if I have all the orders in earlier, then I’ll adjudicate the games there and then.) I've come up with a draft set of House Rules at but would welcome any comments on these from interested parties or other g.m.s with 7 x 7 experience. Oh, and I’ll also need some stand-bys once we get going. But let’s get the starting line-up sorted first:



7 x 7 Gunboat Diplomacy: (7 wanted)


That was Octopus's Garden #83, Startling Press production 370.

Why I Like Team Events

By Larry Peery (from Diplomacy World #123,




When I decided to return to FTF Diplomacy play in North America after many, many years DIPCON was an obvious choice for my first event. And so I got online made my reservations with UA (That was easy. Signing up for their FFM program was anything but.), contacted Sheratons Reservations online and immediately was plunged into a power struggle between their central reservations office and the local hotel. Fortunately, with help from Jeff Ladd that was resolved in my favor; and  I then signed up for the event online at the PTKS website. That was easy enough, I thought, and proceeded to the next step: putting together a team for the team event I assumed was going to happen in Silver Spring. I soon had two volunteers, then three, four, five; and then I realized I had no idea what the size of the teams for the team event would be. So I looked at the event web site and found no mention of a team event. Strange, I thought, so I asked Chris Martin (one of my committed team members, and one of the organizers of the event) what he knew? Not much, he said, but he assured me that there had always been a team event, usually on Saturday.  Then I asked Edi Birsan (another perspective team member, and Edi always knows what’s going on in the hobby), and he said he didn’t know of one. I was starting to worry, so I emailed Jeff Ladd, who I had been told could solve any DipCon problem, and asked him what was up. He replied, and I quote him verbatim, “We really didn't alter our normal Tempest for the DipCon bid.” Well, I had no idea what a normal Tempest was like, but I did have a pretty good idea of what a DipCon should be. I informed Bill LaFosse, who was as enthusiastic about the team event as I was, Chris and Edi that apparently there was to be no team event. I then pondered what to do next. What follows is what I decided to do.


I was surprised to learn that were would be no team event at this year’s DipCon, but shame on me for not asking. On the other hand, when you sign up to buy a new car you assume you’re getting four tires with it. I was even more surprised at how nonchalant those responsible for such things were about that decision. And I was still even more surprised at how defensive those who have used the team event for their own advantage were about having done so. That wasn’t from the cat’s mouth, but it seemed to be the consensus of multiple reports that “Team events fell out of favor because the best players would form teams amongst themselves in order to avoid having to play each other.” Heh, all’s fair in war and Dip, right?


IN CONTEXT (e.g. Peeriblah deep background)


It’s ironic that in the USA, where team sports like football, baseball, basketball, etc. rule and dominate sports, individual sports are relatively neglected. Even a macho man individualistic sport like golf still finds the Masters and Ryder Cup fascinating if not completely understandable. How important is the super star on the team? Can you name one other member of any of Michael Phelps Olympics swimming teams? Probably not. And yet in Europe it is the solo athlete that wins respect and highest praise. The individual who climbs a 1,000 foot tall building, or who crosses the Grand Canyon on a wire without a safety belt, or the sailor who crosses the ocean in a kayak alone is praised.


Consider something as simple as sailing around the world alone. Have you ever heard of Captain Joshua Slocum? Probably not unless you’re a yachting fanatic or happen to be from Nova Scotia. Sometime around 1900, or slightly before, Slocum became the first person to sail single-handedly around the world aboard the sloop Spray. Read his account of the voyage in Alone Around the World (1900). It’s one of the truly great sports epics.


Move ahead, quickly now to 1966 (and this one I do remember) when to be Sir Francis Chichester set his sights on the next logical goal --- a racing-style circumnavigation of the world. His goal was to be the fastest ever for a single-handed around-the-world-trip. In 1966, aboard the Gipsy Moth IV he did that that. It took him 226 days sailing time, twice as fast as the previous record. At the age of 65, Chichester had once again revolutionized single-handed sailing. A quarter of a million people greeted his arrival back in England and more than a few hundred jumped into the water with joy!


The individual star shines brightly, but the collective efforts of teams shine even brighter.


I remember watching Dennis Connor’s (a much disliked fellow in San Diego) team bring the America’s Cup back to San Diego from Australia. Even in a jaded sports town like San Diego that was a “big deal.” More recently, who among those who saw it will ever forget team Oracle’s come-from-behind victory over the New Zealand team Emirates in this year’s America’s Cup? Even in a jaded sailing town like San Francisco, hundreds of thousands of spectators and fans alike turned out to see that final race.


Yes, team events do get attention.


Finally, let’s ask what is the purpose of the team event? Simply put, it is to teach us to plan and work together to achieve a positive goal. Those who think otherwise have a simple alternative---they don’t have to play in it.




Next, let us consider, in general terms, some of the problems related to team events at the DipCon level in North America (Europe and Australia don’t seem to have a problem with the concept or executing it. There were 17 teams in the team event in Paris at this year’s WDC.


Why don’t Americans like team events? It’s simple. It’s because they don’t like to work together. The “every man for himself” (and God help you if you’re a female player) mantra has become a way of life in the USA. You can see it on the mega-level as you read this if you look at what’s going on in Washington. I’m sure Bohner and Cantor and the rest are not team players.


Certainly the lack of a team event has kept foreign attendance at our DipCons, including our World DipCons down, and perhaps some Americans like that.


Deceit is the performance enhancing drug of choice of Diplomacy. As long as there are Diplomacy events there will be those who have to try to “play the game or beat the system.” And then, when they do beat it, they go around and brag about it. Have they no shame?


Looking at the World Diplomacy Database figures for the last team for the USA I am reminded of some financial advice my grandmother gave me a half-century ago when she bought me my first stocks. One of her cardinal rules was, “Don’t ever buy stock in a company that you can’t tell what they do from their name.” Following her advice paid off. Today, looking at DipCon event names would you, if you were a parent, send your kid to an event called: The Bar Room Brawl, Massacre, Weasel Moot, BadAss Whipping, or Carnage on the Mountain? I think not. What do these names tell you about the who, what, where or of an event? Not much.


Look at the attendance figures: 7, 26, 35, 16, 23, 17, 15, 15, 13, 28, 22, 15, 7… In a word, pathetic. When a Diplomacy event in San Marino can attract more people than any similar event in the USA; we’re in trouble. Where, I ask you, is the new blood? Scared away by the old?  Perhaps. Is it more convenient and rewarding for old timers to do the same old things with the same, even older group of people than deal with the challenges and potential defeats of facing a new and younger generation of Dippers?


The Europeans have done away with the open-ended game, and I disagree with that. We’ve done away with the team event, and I disagree with that. I may be only one hobby Old Fart but that’s my opinion.


Why are we afraid to try something so old it may seem new to today’s and tomorrow’s hobby?


Those who use or believe others use teams to prevent having to face the best players at a team event would do well to remember that there are those who play on teams for more noble reasons.


We should not let our cynicism prevent others from enjoying this kind of Diplomacy. Why deprive others of doing something they enjoy or might enjoy just because some find it inconvenient?


A 7X7 board tournament with 49 players, a team event, a top board and a variety of Diplomacy related events have always been my standard for a “real” DipCon. Is that not reasonable? What happened?




Diplomacy has always consisted of the individual, team and national (or state or community) elements. A healthy balance of all three is necessary to the wellbeing of the hobby. The lack of a team element in the American FTF hobby may help explain its current poor condition.


DipCons have traditionally been built around a singles event with seven or more boards that would lead to a top board event, and a team event. Those were the three pillars of DipCon.


Just become some people don’t like it is no reason why we shouldn’t be doing it. A whole new generation of players hasn’t had an opportunity to experience team play. Who knows, they might actually enjoy it if they tried it.

Yes, teams do build espirit de corps, even if only for a few hours.


The team event provides another path to the awards and prizes. Is that so bad?


The lawyers among us have apparently found time for their event. Why not let the team players do the same?

A team event helps bring back drama and excitement to the game, the event and the hobby; and excitement is something we seem to need at the moment.


The online hobby has a new ‘zine called A FLEET IN PARIS. It looks promising. Its early issues are filled with goodies from written by newbies, and I have not seen ONE name therein listed in the rosters of this past year’s DipCons. Will the old hobby establishment welcome A FLEET IN PARIS or shy away from the competition of and for new blood? I welcome it and I’m putting my words, peeriblah if you will, where my wishes are. We need to do the same thing with newbies to the FTF hobby and, hopefully, new or revitalized older events.


A local or regional Diplomacy event seeking to hold a national or continental Dip event owes it to that event and the hobby as a whole to strive to attain the goals of that event and bring its own event up to the standards of the higher event --- not to merely say, “Come hither and take us as we are.”


In summary, we need to revitalize out FTF Diplomacy events. We need new blood to do that. And one way of attracting new blood is to bring give new options. Bringing back the team event is one such option. We’ve neglected or even abandoned our traditions, and we’re paying for it now.




I crawled my way back to this DipCon after six hospital visits in three years. I did not do so to attend a wake for DipCon or its team event.

It is time to end a generation’s benign neglect of this hobby’s pillar event and return it to its rightful place in the DipCon pantheon of events. First we bring back the team event. Then we restore DipCon to its rightful place primus inter pares instead of unus inter multos.


I leave you with this question, “Is it that Americans don’t like the concept of a team event or is it that they are afraid of it?”


The call to action has been sounded! Will you answer the call? Or will you retreat to the bar in Silver Spring, order another beer, and say: “Let Edi do it;” and then wonder why nobody shows up at DipCon next year?


I look forward to a free and open discussion of this subject in Silver Spring. Hopefully if we can keep people out of the bar long enough to have one. Those who were in Birmingham, England for WDC IV will know what I mean.













ZERO SUM, Subzine to Eternal Sunshine, Issue 19   October  29, 2013


Published by Richard Weiss.  No one need send any orders, as this is the last issue of Zero Sum, the Subzine to Eternal Sunshine.


Current Games:  1. Yahtzee (ended)  Major and huge congratulations to Kevin Wilson for his 44 point victory.

                            2. What’s My Line – ended

3.  Drone Wars – pulled, too little interest

4.  Richard Morland the 2013 NFL Bourse Game withdrawn, only one interested


Potential Game Offerings:  None


GM Musings:  Hmmm, Yahtzee ended.  Oleg Kalugin has ended, after not much interest.  No other game offering has been well received by popular vote and sign-up. 


I do my final touch-ups to Zero Sum on Sunday, then send it to Doug.  On the day Doug publishes, I’m going to see Buddy Guy play in a sub-1,000 seat venue in Grass Valley, CA.  About an hour away.  I’ve seen him off and on over many decades.  No, never saw him with Howling Wolf or Muddy Water or Junior Wells.  Been a while since I’ve seen a name performer, usually just local garage bands performing in local bars with decent dance floors.



Rules for regular Yahtzee published in Eternal Sunshine #65.  Scoring and play modified from Milton Bradley’s Yahtzee Game copyrighted 1982.  Hasbro lists the official rules at:


Yahtzee Game:  Kim Philby


First Roll of Round 11 was: 5, 3, 1, 5, 1

Doug saved the 5,5

Kevin saved the 5,5

Dane saved the 5, 5

Geoff saved the 5, 5


Second Roll of Round 11 was: (sequentially) 4,1,6,

Doug saved the 5,5

Kevin saved the 5,5

Dane saved the 4,5,5,6

Geoff saved the 5,5 (and prayed harder)


Third Roll of Round 11 is: (sequentially) 1,4,3,6,6

Doug scored zero for Yahtzee

Kevin scored 18 for chance

Dane scored 21 for chance

Geoff scored ten for fives (one up for atheists)



First Roll of Round 12 was: 1,6,4,5,6

Doug saved the 6,5,4

Kevin saved the 6,6

Dane saved the 6,6

Geoff saved the 4,5,6


Second Roll of Round 12 was: (sequentially) 6,2,5,3,6

Doug saved the 6,5,4,2

Kevin saved the 6,6,6

Dane saved the 6,6,6

Geoff saved the 4,5,6


Third Roll of Round 12 is: (sequentially) 2, 6

Doug scored NMR,

Kevin scored 26 for 3-of-a-kind (6,6,6,6,2)

Dane scored 24 for 6s.

Geoff scored NMR



First Roll of Round 13 is: 4,4,4,1,4

Doug saved the 4,4,4,4

Kevin saved the 4,4,4,4

Dane saved the 4,4,4,4

Geoff saved the: 4,4,4,4


Third Roll of Round 13 started with a 5

Doug saved the 4,4,4,4,5

Kevin saved the 4,4,4,4,5

Dane saved the 4,4,4,4,5

Geoff saved the: 4,4,4,4,5


Round 13 is the last round!


Scoring at the End of Round 13



Doug Kent

Kevin Wilson

Geoff Kemp

Dane Maslen

Ace  = 1





Twos = 2





Threes = 3



Fours = 4





Fives = 5





Sixes = 6










Bonus +35 if >63




Total Upper










3 of a Kind





4 of a Kind





Full House = 25





Sm Straight = 30





Lg Straight = 40















Yahtzee Bonus





Total Lower











Oleg Kalugin: What’s My Line?

Apologies, if any needed, in stealing a great idea from the original producers/creators.  Per Wikipedia (retrieved 3 May 2013) Produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS Television, the show was initially called Occupation Unknown before deciding on the name What's My Line? 


Panelist: Andy Lischett’s questions: were answered personally.  He was told the answers and what my line is.  The game is over.

Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press – Permanent Opening in ES): Signed up: Paul Milewski, Arthur Shulman, Brad Wilson, Mark Firth, needs three more.

Youngstown IV (Black Press): This opening has been moved to a Diplomacy World Variant Demo Game.

Balkan Wars VI (Black Press): Brad Wilson’s game is crawling, so I’m offering a game myself.  No season separations.  Rules and map on request.  Signed up: None.

Colonia VII-B (Black Press): Fred Hyatt’s wonderful global variant, one of the best variants ever created.  Rules and map on request.  Signed up: None.

Gunboat 7x7 Tournament: In Peter Sullivan’s “Octopus’s Garden” subzine.  7x7’s always fill quickly, so email him to sign up now!

Acquire: Can take up to six players.  Will start when current game ends.  Signed up: Hank Alme, can take up to five more.

By Almost Popular Demand: Same as By Popular Demand, except the top choice in every category scores zero.  Join at any time. 

Eternal Sunshine Movie Quote Quiz: Join anytime.  New game starts this issue!

Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Rules in ES #58.  New Game Starts NOW!!  Join anytime!

Coming Soon?: 1898, African Dip.  If you’re interested in one of these variants, or have a suggestion, let me know.

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Richard Weiss, Jim Burgess (Dip only), Hank Alme, Martin Burgdorf, Paul Milewski (Dip only), Brad Wilson (including Woolworth), Chris Babcock, Marc Ellinger, Heath Gardner, Jack McHugh, and whoever I beg into it in an emergency.




Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Acquire – “Winterbloom


Players: Tom Howell, Hank Alme, Per Westling, and Martin Burgdorf.


Turn 11

Hank Alme: Hank plays 10-B.  Festival is merged into Imperial.  Martin gets $3,000 while Hank and Per each get $750.  Hank sells his Festival share for $300, and so does Per.  Martin trades his 8 Festival for 4 Imperial.  Hank buys 3 Continental.


Per Westling: Per plays 8-C and merges Worldwide into Imperial.  Tom gets $7,000 while Martin and Per each get $1,750.  Per trades 2 Worldwide for 1 Imperial and sells 1 Worldwide.  Martin does the same.  Tom sells his Worldwide.  Per buys 2 Tower.


Martin Burgdorf:Martin plays 8-G and buys 3 Tower.


Tom Howell:Tom plays 4-F and merges Luxor into American.  Tom gets $6,000, Per gets $3,000.  Tom sells his Luxor stock, as does Per and Martin.   Tom buys 1 Imperial.


Hank Alme: Plays 8-H.  Buys 2 Tower.




Turn Order for Turn 12: Per Westling, Martin Burgdorf, Tom Howell, Hank Alme, Per Westling


Deadline for Turn 12 is November 25th at 7pm my time.


Diplomacy “Dulcinea” 2008C, W 25/S 26


Austria (Martin Burgdorfmartin_burgdorf “of” Remove A Budapest, A Bohemia,

 A Moscow.. A Belgium Supports A Ruhr – Holland, F Brest – Gascony,

 A Finland Supports A St Petersburg (*Cut*), A Paris Supports F Brest – Gascony, A Picardy Supports A Belgium,

 A Ruhr - Holland (*Fails*), A Silesia - Munich (*Fails*), A St Petersburg Supports A Finland.

England (Hank Almealmehj “of” Build A Edinburgh, A Liverpool..

 F Barents Sea Supports A Edinburgh – Norway, A Berlin Hold, A Edinburgh – Norway, A Holland Hold,

 F Kiel Supports A Holland, A Liverpool – Edinburgh, A London – Brest,

 F North Sea Convoys A Edinburgh – Norway, A Sweden Supports A Edinburgh - Norway.

Turkey (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” Build A Ankara.. F Adriatic Sea - Ionian Sea,

 A Ankara – Armenia, F English Channel Convoys A London – Brest, A Galicia – Bohemia,

 F Gascony Supports A London - Brest (*Disbanded*), F Gulf of Bothnia - Finland (*Fails*),

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean Supports A London – Brest, A Munich - Ruhr (*Fails*), F Piedmont - Marseilles (*Bounce*),

 A Rumania Supports A Serbia, A Serbia Supports A Rumania, F Sevastopol Hold,

 F Spain(sc) - Marseilles (*Bounce*), F Trieste Supports F Venice, A Ukraine - Warsaw (*Fails*),

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


F 26 Deadline is November 26th at 7:00am my time




The Emperor to the Sultan: Your question does not make any sense. If your aim was to divide Europe equally between yourself and the King, you would have suggested a two-way-draw. But then you would have to vote against your own proposal, because I might vote in favour just so this odd game ends.


(BOOB to the PEANUT GALLERY): No need for a season separation, doesn't much matter what Austria removes.  We should make hay this game year!


(JIM-BOB to HANK): Shall we take out that last Austrian fleet and complete control of the seas?



Dulcinea” Diplomacy Bourse


Billy Ray Valentine: Probably in his limousine.


Duke of York: Passes.


Smaug the Dragon: Snore.


Rothschild: Sells 500 Pounds.  Buys 303 Piastres.


Baron Wuffet: Zip.


Wooden Nickel Enterprises: Trying to cut wood blocks for printing 50 Pound notes.


VAIONT Enterprises: Resting his eyes.


Insider Trading LLC: Yawn.


Bourse Master: Stands pat.





(DUKE OF YORK to ROTHSCHILD): I'm sorry, you're only a banker, very conservative, and no, you do NOT understand Diplomacy.  Very sorry.


Next Bourse Deadline is November 25th at 7:00pm my time


Graustark Diplomacy Game 2006A, End Game

German Win in Fall 1923

Graustark [GM John Boardman] until Fall 1905.  Eternal Sunshine [GM Douglas Kent] until Fall 1923 (game end).




Diplomacy “Jerusalem” 2012A, W 07

Seasons Separated by Player Request

Austria (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” Build A Vienna.. Has A Trieste, A Vienna.

England (John Biehljerbil “of” Build A London.. Has F Baltic Sea, A Belgium, A Denmark,

 F English Channel, A Holland, A London, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean, F North Atlantic Ocean, F North Sea,

 F Portugal, A Spain, F St Petersburg(nc).

Germany (Heath Gardner - heath.gardner “of” Disband F Spain(sc).. Remove A Kiel..Has

 A Berlin, A Burgundy, A Gascony.

Italy (Mark Firth – mark.r.firth “of” Has F Gulf of Lyon, F Ionian Sea, A Marseilles, A Munich,

 F Tunis, F Tyrrhenian Sea.

Russia (Richard Weiss – richardweiss “of” Has A Moscow, A Sevastopol, A Warsaw.

Turkey (Geoff Kemp - ggeoff510 “of” Has F Aegean Sea, F Black Sea, A Bohemia, A Galicia,

 A Rumania, A Silesia, F Tuscany, A Tyrolia.


Now Proposed – E/T and E/T/I.  Please vote.  NVR=No

S 08 Deadline is November 26th at 7:00am my time




(Vie) It was announced today that the Austrian Imperial Military (AIM) have doubled in size.  It was also announced today that the sky is falling.



Diplomacy “Walkerdine” 2012D, W 03

Seasons Separated by Player Request

Austria (paul.milewski “of” Retreat A Budapest - Vienna.. Has A Trieste, A Vienna.

England (Marc Ellinger - mellinger “of”  Build A London.. Has F Barents Sea, A Finland,

 A London, F North Sea, A St Petersburg, F Sweden.

France (Jim Burgess – jfburgess “of” Build F Brest.. Has A Belgium, F Brest, A Piedmont,

 F Tunis, F Tuscany, F Tyrrhenian Sea, F Western Mediterranean.

Germany (Steve Cooley – tmssteve “of” Build A Munich.. Has F Baltic Sea, F Denmark,

 A Munich, A Prussia, A Silesia, A Venice.

Italy (Harold Zarr - skip1955 “of” Remove A Albania.. Has F Naples, A Rome.

Russia (Hank Almealmehj “of”  Has A Budapest, F Gulf of Bothnia, F Ionian Sea,

 A Rumania, A Warsaw.

Turkey(Chris Babcock - cbabcock “of” Build F Smyrna.. Has F Aegean Sea, F Apulia,

 A Galicia, F Greece, A Serbia, F Smyrna.


Deadline for S 04 Will Be November 26th at 7am My Time




Italy to GM: I wonder how long I can tie up units for both France and Germany?  Hopefully, long enough for France to stab Germany and watch the fun!


(BOOB OPINES): I guess this is SNAFU... let's have some sanity!!!





Black Press Gunboat, “Fred Noonan”, 2013Arb32, F 04

Austria: NMR!  Disband A Budapest, F Greece.

England: F Liverpool Supports F North Sea - Edinburgh (*Dislodged*, retreat to North Atlantic Ocean or Wales

 or OTB), F London Hold, F North Sea - Edinburgh.

France: A Burgundy Supports A Picardy, F Clyde – Liverpool, F Irish Sea Supports F Clyde – Liverpool,

 F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - English Channel, A Picardy Supports A Burgundy.

Germany: A Belgium Supports A Holland, F Denmark Supports F Sweden, F Helgoland Bight - North Sea,

 A Holland Supports A Belgium, A Munich – Berlin, F Skagerrak Supports F Helgoland Bight - North Sea,

 F Sweden Supports F Denmark (*Cut*).

Italy: F Adriatic Sea Supports F Ionian Sea, A Bohemia – Silesia, A Budapest Supports A Vienna – Galicia,

 F Ionian Sea Hold, A Tyrolia – Vienna, A Vienna - Galicia.

Russia: A Finland Supports F Norway – Sweden, F Norway - Sweden (*Fails*),

 F Sevastopol - Rumania (*Disbanded*), A Silesia – Munich, A Ukraine Supports F Sevastopol - Rumania.

Turkey: F Aegean Sea – Greece, A Armenia Supports A Rumania – Sevastopol,

 F Black Sea Supports A Rumania – Sevastopol, A Greece – Serbia, A Rumania – Sevastopol, A Serbia - Rumania.


Deadline for W 04/S 05 Will Be November 26th at 7am My Time


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            None=0, OUT!!

England:          Edinburgh, London=2, Even or Remove 1

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

Germany:         Belgium, Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Sweden=6, Remove 1

Italy:                Budapest, Naples, Rome, Trieste, Tunis, Venice, Vienna=7, Build 1

Russia:             Moscow, Munich, Norway, St Petersburg, Warsaw=5, Build 1

Turkey:            Ankara, Bulgaria, Constantinople, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, Sevastopol, Smyrna=8, Build 2






Ger-GM: I WAS going to say that I'm not writing press because it would jinx my good fortune so far.  Obviously that theory has been shot to hell.


France to GM: Hey, I wrote press the last time, you were just too drunk to remember it and include it!


GM – France: A common problem…..


RUSSIA - WORLD: Too many Holds (and I include myself). Let's roll ...


RUSSIA - FRANCE/ITALY: Come on guys. Stop tiptoeing around Germany. Time to squish him! Won't take long.


France to Germany:   Time to put the English bulldog to sleep.


Rome: We're not ready for Oktoberfest!


(SWITZERLAND): I hope more of you finally came out to play in the press this time!


(ITALY to RUSSIA): Now that we've successfully trounced the Austrians, I know you're on France's side, so let's set up some Turkey for Thanksgiving!!


(FRANCE to RUSSIA): I am not stabbing my fine Italian ally, so you had better help him against the Turks, or else!


(AUSTRIA SLINKS AWAY INTO THE NIGHT): Sorry I put up so little fight!


Diplomacy “Sweet Spot” 2013A, W 03/S 04

England (Harold Zarr - skip1955 “of” Remove F Norway.. F North Sea – Edinburgh

 (*Dislodged*, retreat to Helgoland Bight or Skagerrak or Norwegian Sea or Yorkshire or OTB), A Wales - London.

France (Melinda Holley – genea5613 “of” Build A Paris, F Brest.. F Brest - Mid-Atlantic Ocean,

 A Burgundy – Ruhr, A Edinburgh Hold, F English Channel Supports F London - North Sea,

 A Holland Supports A Burgundy - Ruhr (*Cut*), F London - North Sea, A Marseilles Hold, A Paris - Gascony.

Germany (Jack McHugh jwmchughjr “of” A Denmark Supports F Sweden,

 A Kiel - Holland (*Fails*), A Ruhr – Belgium, F Sweden Supports A Denmark.

Italy (Heath Gardner - heath.gardner “of” Build F Naples.. A Budapest – Trieste,

 F Gulf of Lyon Convoys A Piedmont – Spain, F Ionian Sea Hold, F Naples - Tyrrhenian Sea, A Piedmont – Spain,

 A Trieste – Tyrolia, F Tunis - North Africa, A Vienna - Bohemia.

Russia (Chris Babcock – cbabcock “of” ): F Gulf of Bothnia - Baltic Sea, A Moscow – Warsaw,

 F Rumania Hold (*Dislodged*, retreat to Black Sea or Sevastopol or OTB), A St Petersburg – Norway,

 A Warsaw - Silesia.

Turkey (Larry Peerypeery “of” Build A Smyrna.. F Aegean Sea Supports A Greece,

 A Bulgaria – Rumania, A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Greece Hold, A Serbia Supports A Bulgaria – Rumania,

 A Smyrna - Constantinople.


Deadline for F 04 Will Be November 26th at 7am My Time




(Versailles) - "Well, isn't this special?!" The Woman sarcastically snarled as she plopped into her overstuffed chair.


"I trust Madam had a good time on her vacation?" The aide hesitantly spoke.


"Oh, Madam had a wonderful time until Madam caught a chill which turned into a cold then turned into the flu!" The Woman snapped.  "On the upside, Madam's freezer is full of wonderful food brought back from West Virginia."  She licked her lips in silent appreciation.  "Sausage biscuits.  Enchiladas.  Lemon pie."


The aide successfully managed to keep his exquisite breakfast from appearing on the tile floor.


"AND since I didn't eat while I was sick, I lost weight."  The Woman eyed her aide.  "Can't you tell, Raoul?"


"I thought so," Raoul quickly answered.  "But I didn't want to presume."


The Woman grunted.  "Raoul, what are we going to do about those sneaky Italians?"


"We?" Raoul squeaked, visions of being sent to a combat zone shaking him to his core.


"Ask the Turkish Ambassador to join me for lunch," the Woman decided.  "Have the kitchen prepare well...whatever is appropriate."  She slowly smiled.  "It's time to play the Seraglio Card."


Eng to GM: Just trying to keep things interesting in this game.  It is so good to see Italy moving on France.  That fat old broad in Paris should have spent more time examining the board instead of her plate!  Perhaps I can keep lots of French fleets tied down in the north for a couple of turns longer!


Press: As Thanksgiving approaches the sounds of anxious gobbles (male) and clicks (female) can be heard at turkey farms all over the New World. In the Old World the sound of sharpening scimitars and axes rings loudly in the crisp fall air.


germany-eastern bozos: are you two done playing around over there while Italy and France grow to huge sizes while you two stooges can't get past 6 dots? let me know if you want to stop slobbering over each other and join the game...


germany-italy: good for you but you better get over the alps before melinda comes looking for your ass...


germany-france: et tu, melinda???


(BOOB to HER HIGHNESS): Make them all pay, Melinda!


(BOOB to HEATH): I hope you're feeling better, man, your story made me shudder!


(BOOB to LARRY): Hey, Lar, haven't you learned how to spell Arctic yet???



Woolworth II-D “Coney Island” 2013Bcb19, S 04

Austria (Secret): A Vie-Gal, A Tyr-Swi.

Balkans (Secret): F Alb S A Ser-Tri, A Ser-Tri, A Bud S A Ser-Tri.

England (Secret): F Lon S A Lpl-Wal, A Lpl-Wal, F Cly-Nao.

France (Heath Gardner - heath.gardner “of” A Wal-Bre, F Eng C A Wal-Bre, A Hol-Bel,

 F Tys-Tun.

Germany (Marc Ellinger - mellinger “of” A Mar-Gas, A Swi-Bur, A Mun S A Swi-Bur, A Kie-Hol,

 A Sil S A Vie-Gal.

Italy (Secret): F Tun S Tys-Wms(NSO), F Tus S A Ven-Pie, A Ven-Pie, A Apu-Nap, A Rom-Ven.

Russia (Jim Burgess - jfburgess “of” F Stp(SC)-Gob, A War S A Lvn-Pru, A Lvn-Pru,

 A Ukr S A Gal, A Gal S A War.

Scandinavia (Geoff Kemp - ggeoff510 “of” F Nth-Bel, F Nwg-Edi, A Den H.
Spain (Secret):
F Wms S F Tys-Tun, F Nao-Mao, A Ruh-Bel, F Ice-Nwg.
Turkey (Hugh Polleyhapolley “of” F Bla S A Rum, A Rum S A Bud, A Bul S A Rum,

 F Ion S F Tun, F Con-Aeg.


Deadline for F 04 is November 26th at 7am My Time




(BOOBISH RUSSIAN to GEOFF): Don't worry, we're still buds.





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!



Congrats to Kevin Wilson for scoring 19 points.  Poor Carol Kay only grabbed two…


Round 9 Categories


1.    A current “guilty pleasure” TV show.

2.    A bird which is all or partly red.

3.    A Christopher Walken film.

4.    A vitamin (not a brand, but a specific vitamin).

5.    A yellow food.


Selected Comments By Category


General Comments – Richard WeissI was surprised how few people knew what a snow cone was.  There is a pornographic definition as well, that no one seemed to comment on. I think Clerks includes that term.  I was shocked that what I thought would be very rare, turned out to be the most common answer, i.e., that of the AM-PM/7/Eleven/Circle K store slushee flabor.  Personally, I hate cherry flavor.  In the 80s I was going to sponsor my step-daughter to set up a snow cone stand at Pier 39 in SF as a summer job and see how it went.  There were no snow cones out west then.  She didn't want to do it, too much attention, which she shunned then.  And too strange an idea.  And, summer in SF is the coldest winter Mark Twain ever spent.  That wasn't the last of the great ideas of cross fertilization I've had for family though.  I told my ne'er do well niece (ne'er until she became a prison guard) to open a coffee shop in the small townin NE PA she lived in.  She and my Brother and all others said never, no way, no expendable income, would never work.  Within 3 years the town had two and has never had less than two, highly busy and profitable since then.  Oh well.  Glad she loves being a Correctional Officer.  "Officer K."


TV Show – Richard Weiss “The Voice.  Guilty because of the fun of the browmance and the pure positive energy of the judges and joy of the contestants.   Melinda Holley “Hell, I don't know - I don't feel guilty about watching anything.”  Andy Lischett “I can't stand reality shows or current sitcoms, so don't even want to pick one for possible points.”  Per Westling “I had to Google this one as I was not completly familliar with the concept. After going through a couple of lists I discovered that I had viewed very few of them. Top in one of the list was the European Song Contest! Well, maybe this is what define "guilty pleasure"? I am not going for that but instead go for a series that do have some painful ingredients (like e.g. being run by Fox and having some obvious PC Components) namely: Glee.  Did manage to wade through almost 2 seasons, with the songs as the redeeming feature, but I lost interest in it.”  Marc Ellinger “What the @#$% is a guilty pleasure tv show?    Wow, has this zine sunk so??? “


Red Bird – Richard Weiss “The Cardinal is the team name for Stanford University.  Which led me to wonder how many colleges or professional teams have a nickname that is singular.  My alma mater, Tulane was the Green Wave.  Alabama is the Crimson Tide.  Reno and NC State are the Wolfpack.  Utah Jazz.  For my choice, not cardinal, not red wing blackbird, I'll go with an exotic bird - the Cockatoo.” Andy York “Hoping Robin is the #1.”  Larry Peery “My first exposure to a cardinal was Tom Clancy's novel The Cardinal In the Kremlin which was one of the sequels to The Hunt For Red October. Since it was published in 1988 I was probably reading The Cardinal in the Kremlin about the time of the first WDC in Birmingham. I was a big fan of Tom Clancy right from the beginning and I still have my copy of The Hunt For Red October edition published by the US Naval Institute which today is a collector's item. The Cardinal is the code name of a highly placed US agent in the Kremlin.


My second explosure to a cardinal was the AMTRAK train by the same name which can trace its roots back to 1941. In 1977 AMTRAK named the train The Cardinal after the bird which inhabits the six states the train route goes through. The train's route originates in Chicago and then goes through Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Washington D.C and ends in New York. The train runs three times a week in each direction and it is important to note that there is only one train on the route and the train merely goes back and forth, back and forth. The system works well except when it doesn't.


Such was the case in 2013 when I decided to use the Cardinal as part of my 9,000 mile AMTRAK Diplomacy tour that included stops in Denver, CO for the WDC XIII/Regatta on 14-16 February and in Charlottesville,VA for the Presidents Day Con a week later. Everything went well until we arrived in Chicago on the California Zephyr from Denver. The same major storm that had stranded many Dippers in Denver had blanketed the Midwest and Appalachians with many feet of snow and blocked the highways and rail lines. I spent two days in Chicago waiting for AMTRAK to cobble together an improvised version of The Cardinal to replace the one that was completely snowed in somewhere in West Virginia. Fortunately AMTRAK paid for the hotel, meals, and even the taxi during my lay-over so I put the two days to good use exploring one of my favorite cities. Surprisingly, the weather in Chicago was clear and sunny but very cold after the storm. While I was playing tourist in The Loop and Chicago's Greek, China, and Japan Towns Amtrak was gathering four old passenger cars and a pre-WWII engine for the trip. No sleeper, no dining car, nothing but those four passenger cars filled with a lot of frustrated people and a very tired crew. Most of the people on the train were from the area and just wanted to get home. I, being from Southern California, had never seen anything like this.I spent every daylight hour glued to the window looking out at the snow. At one point we passed within inches (it seemed) of the marooned Cardinal sitting on the other dual track. We could see the side of the train facing us clearly, but in front, back and on the other side the snow was solid and rose above the train. The snow on top of the train's cars was a good six feet deep.For sure that train wasn't going anywhere soon. We eventually made it to Charlottesville, VA where I got off and took a long taxi ride to the Con site. I arrived just in time to hear Dan Mathias announce the name of the event winner and the other 13 top finishers. That's all there were: 14 players, including Dan. By now the snow that had seemed so beautiful from the train had turned to slush and I gave up trying to hoof it to the Wal-Mart next to hotel. I retired to my room for a long, hot bath, a bottle of rotgut, and a good night's sleep.


The next day I taxied back to the quaint little, but very busy, Charlottesville  train station where I got back on the Cardinal going back the way I had come. This time I was off to visit The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WVA. where I would spend three nights. The Greenbrier is a mecca for golfers but in late February its three courses were covered with several feet of snow. I did a bit of exploring because it's a huge place with lots to do. The hotel historian told me the fascinating history of the place, gave me a personal tour of The Bunker where Congress was supposed to hide if WWIII ever happened. Bob took me out to the hotel's artists colony, a collection of old staff cottages and dorms that had been converted into shops and working places for various artisans. I saw a lot of very expensive "found materials art being crafted out of old cars, wagons, etc.; and even saw the petrified woodworker's shop that had built Tom Clancy's 250K desk (Described in another story.). We were standing on the balcony looking out over the snow covered grounds at the original natural hot springs from which the hotel and town got its name. Bob whispered to me, "Don't move. Slowly look to your left." I did as told and there, perhaps two feet from my head sitting on a hanging bird feeder was a cardinal, the first I had ever seen alive and upclose. The first think I noticed was how red he was :-) The second thing I noticed was the price tag, $650, on the bird feeder. :- Well, after all, it was The Greenbrier and maybe he got a winter rate special. (I did and it still cost me $900 for three nights). The cardinal and I looked at each other for perhaps 30 seconds before he flew off in search of more interesting entertainment. Times change. Ten years later the Greenbrier has a new owner, The Bunker is a documents storage facility and cooking school, and the place has a casino. But whenever I hear of a major winter storm blowing through WV I wonder if that birdfeeder and cardinal ever found a home.” 


Rick Desper “How do I not pick Cardinal?  I guess there are robins and flamingos and whatnot.”  Robin ap Cynan “I really wanted flamingo, but I guess pink doesn't count as red.”  Per Westling “When it comes to red birds I automatically Think of the Bullfinch. This is the bird you seldom see in the city but if you do you know that it is very Cold.”  Kevin Wilson “I'm tempted to say Cardinal as many may avoid it as too obvious such that it isn't #1 but I won't take that chance.”


Walken – Richard Weiss “I know he's an actor.  No idea what movies.  Had to look it up.  Hmmm, he was great in the movie he won an award in, The Deer Hunter.  I loved it when it came out.  Sooooo depressing.”  Marc Ellinger “Not a big Walken fan, in fact he managed to corrupt even the best series of all time, Bond.”


Vitamin – Richard Weiss “I would guess Vitamin C will be the first thought of many.  Yes, I was lucky enough to meet Linus Pauling, one of only two persons to ever win two Noble Prizes.  Both did it in different fields of endeavor.   I doubt many will pick Folate, or the fat-soluble vitamins DAKE, even though with our life styles, Vitamin D deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States.  That primarily leaves the numbered B vitamins.  Which narrows me down to B1, 2, 3, 6, or 12.  I'm sure Riboflavin will not be the most common, so I'll go with that.  Plus, it is one of my favorites.  For those playing Oleg Kalugin, I do have a Master's Degree in Nutrition.”  Marc Ellinger “Fights off everything, it’s the wonder vitamin!   Plus it comes in various flavors, orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime.   Take that B12!”


Yellow Food – Richard Weiss “Thiamine is the obvious answer after the vitamin question.  Bananas have yellow skins but aren't yellow.  Cakes are yellow.  Lots of vegetables are yellow.  I have one compelling answer, Sugar Pops.  A food.  Definitely yellow.  I'll give shouts out to anyone else who lists a cereal!  way to go "outside the boxers!"  Andy Bate “Hopefully everyone else will go for sweetcorn!”  Robin ap Cynan “Pick your variety- Cheddar; Edam; Emmenthal; Gouda; Gruyere, Jarlsberg...Or maybe Pineapple as a second choice?”  Kevin Wilson “Avoiding lemons and bananas.”


Round 10 Categories – Double Points – All Monty Python

Remember, research in BPD and BAPD is permitted


1.    A cheese mentioned in the Cheese Shop sketch.

2.    A Knight shown or mentioned in the Holy Grail film.

3.    A real person’s name associated with Monty Python who is NOT a member of the Monty Python troupe.

4.    One of the types of fresh fruit shown or “done already” in the Self Defense sketch.

5.    A musical number from any of the Monty Python LP’s and CD’s (whether or not it appeared in a film or in an episode).


Deadline for Round 10 is November 26th at 7:00am my time





Eternal Sunshine Movie Quote Contest


Round 4


There are ten rounds of movie quotes, and each round consists of ten quotes.  Identify the film each quote is from.  Anyone may enter at any point. If you want to submit some commentary with your answers, feel free to.  The game will consist of 10 rounds.  A prize will be awarded to the winner – and it might be a very good prize!  Research is not permitted!  That means NO RESEARCH OF ANY KIND, not just no searches for the quotes themselves.  The only legal “research” is watching movies to try and locate the scenes.  I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY ANY PLAYER I BELIEVE IS CHEATING.  I ALSO RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE QUOTES SLIGHTLY (ALTHOUGH SOMETIMES I DO A FEW FROM MEMORY SO THEY COULD BE OFF ANYWAY).  Each round will also contain one bonus question, asking what the ten movies being quoted have in common.  The player with the most correct answers each round gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2 points, and 3rd place gets 1 point.  In the event of ties, multiple players get the points (if three players tie for first, they EACH get 3 points).  High score at the end of ten rounds wins the game, and a prize (unless you cheated).  If there’s enough participation I may give a prize for 2nd and maybe even 3rd place overall too.  The final round will be worth double points.


1.    Faith can move mountains, Milt. But it can't beat a faster draw. El Dorado.  Pale Rider – AY, RD.  Legends of the Fall – JB.  Unforgiven – JM.


2.    Oh forgive me Paul for prattling away and making everything all oogy.  Misery.  The World’s Fastest Indian – JB.  A Hard Day’s Night – JM.


3.    I'm sure it doesn't bother you at all that it sounds like ssai kss, two words in my language which mean "excrement" and "cranium."  Alien Nation.  Correct - KW.  Silence of the Lambs – JB.  Dilbert – JM.


4.    Ladies and gentlemen, will you stand please for the playing of our Corporate Hymn.  Rollerball.  Correct - KW.  Fracture – JB.  The Hudsucker Proxy – JM.  Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life – RD.


5.    They're gonna build me into the West Side Highway.  Funny Lady.  Nixon – JB.  Hoffa – JM.  Cars – RD.


6.    Could you send a tow truck, please, to 618 Elm Street? It's the third floor, apartment 304.  Freebie and the Bean.  The Good Father – JB.


7.    I'm just not very good at this “selling yourself” stuff, okay? So, I'm just gonna tell you the truth. I really want to be a part of this team, and I'm the only one with a car.  Bottle Rocket.  Hannibal – JB.  The Jerk – JM.


8.    Why do all my generals want to destroy my bridges?  A Bridge Too Far.  Correct – AL, JB, JM, RD.


9.    John, I can't believe you nailed me with this cheap piece of mail-order shit!  Eraser.  Red Dragon – JB.  Ghostbusters – JM.


10.  Nobody could possibly fancy pretzel twists that much so I reckon you won some kind of weird contest.  Flesh and Bone.  The Human Stain – JB.  Dumb and Dumber – JM.


Bonus – What do these films all have in common?  All feature James Caan.  Correct – KW.  All feature Anthony Hopkins – JB.


Score This Round: Kevin Wilson [KW] – 3; Andy Lischett [AL] – 1; Rick Desper [RD] – 1; Jack McHugh [JM] – 1; Jim Burgess [JB] – 1; Andy York [AY] – 0.


Points So Far: Jim Burgess [JB] – 9; Rick Desper [RD] – 8; Kevin Wilson [KW] – 7; Jack Mcugh [JM] – 4; Andy Lischett [AL] – 4; Hank Alme [HA] – 3; Andy York [AY] – 3; Paraic Reddington [PR] – 2.


Round 5


1.    When have I ever complained about you setting fire to my rooms?


2.    I wonder what's got into Oscar. Does he smell another bitch on you? 


3.    Mickey and Mallory know the difference between right and wrong; they just don't give a damn. 


4.    Well, you're fucked up, you look like shit, but hey no problem, all you need is a better cut of cocaine. 


5.    Doesn't it bother you that people call you retard?


6.    Funny thing, Freddie; every time you light a cigarette for me, I know you're lying.  


7.    It's good to be God. I love you. 


8.    You know what you almost never see? Somebody heckling a diver. 


9.    Remember that game, Barrel of Monkeys? This is how it is, we got to catch all the monkeys!


10.  No offense ma'am, but it's always appeared to me your Dad's a few beers shy of a six-pack. 


Bonus – What do these films all have in common? 


Deadline for Round 5 is November 26th at 7:00am my time


General Deadline for the Next Issue of Eternal Sunshine:  November 26th, 2013 at 7:00am my time.  See You Then!