Eternal Sunshine #135

August 2020

By Douglas Kent - 911 Irene Drive, Mesquite, TX  75149


On Facebook at or on the web at  Follow on Twitter at @EternalSunshDip.  Also be sure to visit the official Diplomacy World website which can be found at 

Sign up for the Eternal Sunshine Mailing List at

Check out my eBay store at


Quote of The Month“Women. Nice ones, the most frigid of the race, it doesn't matter in the end. Inside they're all the same meat and gristle and hatred just simmering.” (Chad in “In the Company of Men”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, the only Diplomacy zine published by somebody who can’t stop hearing music in his head…often as many as three songs at once.  Is there a job for that?  I’d love to find a way to monetize my useless skills and quirks.  What about how I can snap my tongue and make a loud POP sound?  I’ve looked on LinkedIn and so far I haven’t found a match.  Any ideas?  It may not be that long before I’m searching for a new job anyway.  My resume is updated, at least the best I can do with it.  When you’ve spent the last 14 years working for one small company with a wide range of responsibilities – sometimes changing from one month to the next – it’s not easy to describe.  And I just don’t know what kind of job somebody with my odd skill set could be an attractive candidate for. 


This have been eerily quiet around here this month, and I don’t just mean in my desperately lonely life.  Maybe these are just the usual summer doldrums, but I’ve gotten very little correspondence this month.  And I don’t exactly have anything very interesting to say in this section.  I’ve been very emotionally flat lately, if not depressed.  My life is going nowhere, my job is about to die (perfect timing…I predict I’ll become unemployed exactly two weeks after the extra Federal unemployment assistance runs out, whenever that turns out to be), and the only friend in this world I can really count on – Toby – has GI leukemia and is living on borrowed time.  I haven’t had a second date in four years (and haven’t had a first date in about a year).  And – bonus – at least once a month the world finds ways to throw my big mistake 20 years ago back into my face.  Maybe I should start a Gofundme, “Help me pay off my restitution.”  I bet I could raise $11.


The game openings didn’t see much movement this month, as you’d expect given what I just wrote in the prior paragraph.  I have officially opened lists for Acquire and Kremlin, since I had at least two people express interest in each.  Elsewhere in this issue I’ve provided my houserules for both games (and the Acquire Player Aid sheet).  I’m not quite sure how long to keep game openings on offer before I pull the plug.  Diplomacy isn’t an issue, because that’s a permanent opening as long as I’m continuing the zine.  But things like Woolworth?  I suppose if individual openings don’t see movement two issues in a row, I’ll consider deleting them.  I doubt I’ll have a hard-and-fast rule on that, but it’ll be the general plan.  It’s more likely I’ll forget to delete an opening and it’ll sit longer than I plan.


I didn’t watch as many movies as I expected this month, although you’ll find some reviews in the usual section.  Most of those I watched very soon after ES #134 came out.  Nothing is really grabbing my interest lately.  I don’t even want to watch the Texas Rangers lose games the way I usually do.  And the few times I have switched over to watch a Mavericks game, they’ve immediately blown a late lead (something they were very skilled at doing during the pre-pandemic part of the season; the curse of a young team).  I’ve got a pile of books to read, and no interest in opening any of them.  I know moods like these come and go for me.  At the moment it just feels like the world is beating me up pretty good.


That’s about it from me.  On to the zine, and I’ll see you in September!

Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up:  Brad Wilson, Stan Johnson, needs five more.

Woolworth II-D (Black Press): Rules and map at the end of issue #132.  Each player controls one power publicly, and one secretly, on a slightly revised board.  Signed up: John David Galt, Brad Wilson, needs three more.

Gunboat (No Press): Check out the opening in Andy York’s subzine.  Sign up through Andy York ONLY!

Railway Rivals: In Peter Sullivan’s subzine Octopus’s Garden.  Sign up through Peter Sullivan ONLY!

By Popular Demand: Ongoing.  Join in the fun!  You can join at any time.

Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?: Ongoing.  Join in and play NOW!

Acquire: House rules and player aids in this issue.  I think four players works well for the zine version.  Signed up: John David Galt, Kevin Wilson, Mark Firth, need 1 more.

Kremlin: House rules in this issue.  Would like four or five players.  Signed up: John David Galt, Kevin Wilson, Heath Davis-Gardner, would like 2 more.

Also In Andy York’s Subzine – You can find his ongoing “Hangman, By Definition” and Facts in Five, plus openings in Gunboat (listed above) and Breaking Away.

Coming Soon: Open to suggestions.  Anybody want to play Acquire or Kremlin? (One person expressed interest in Acquire so far, and two in Kremlin).

Standby List: HELP!  I need standby players! – Current standby list: Andy York, Andy Lischett, Paul Milewski, Harold Reynolds.


Meet Me in Montauk

The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Really quiet around here this month…


Paul Milewski: Just a question: regarding Heath Davis-Gardner's "Battle of the Bulge" answer--the category was "a military battle that look place in what is now Germany.". I thought that battle was fought in Belgium, Luxembourg, and maybe the fringe of France.  The German forces came out of Germany, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't fought on German soil.  Just curious.


[[In my BPD/BAPD games, any answer is valid (hence Will Abbott’s answer of Pizza for every category).  But if you choose something incorrect – such as the Battle of the Bulge – you’re unlikely to get any matching points.]]


Mark Nelson: You say there's "no excuse" for not borrowing the Kindle version for free. But how about this? I refuse to read anything other than a hard copy...


[[Fortunately, you can buy paperback copies too.  Well, Brendan Whyte bought one and is having a “temporarily unavailable” issue in Australia (which makes no sense to me, how can a book be temporarily unavailable on Amazon that an Amazon subsidiary prints) but he’ll get it sooner or later.]]


I don't know why I mentioned gyms in my last email, it must have been in response to something you write since I've never visited one.


There are plenty of rock pools near to where we live, so in theory once the ocean warms up I'm supposed to be going swimming on a regular basis. But somehow I don't see that happening!


The last time I went to a sauna was the last time I went to Finland...which was... 1984 I think.


[[I believe you mentioned gyms because Andy York mentioned his.  Or else you were thinking about someone named Jim.]]


The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


A friend sent me an article about the best “unknown” Found Footage films available on Amazon.  Having seen The Blair Witch Project on its opening weekend – a film made exciting and fulfilling in part because of the experience, the crowds, and the word-of-mouth buildup – I have a soft spot for Found Footage films.  Yes, some of them are simply terrible.  But that’s true of any genre.  As an advocate and long-time supporter of independent and low-budget film, Found Footage offers an inexpensive way for unknown filmmakers to get a feature in the can.  There have even been some more recent original successes: Creep and The Houses That October Built (and the sequels to both) were great fun.  If Mark Duplass is willing to make a great Found Footage film (or two), you shouldn’t avoid the genre entirely.  Anyway, the first five reviews this issue will be the five films on the list, just to keep them in one section.  I normally list things in the order I watch them, but I’ll break that rule in this case for cohesion sake. 


Leaving D.C. (Amazon) – Josh Criss wrote, directed, and stars in this very low budget found footage film.   There are basically no special effects, and 99% of the film is a camera pointed at Criss’s character Mark Klein as he makes video updates for his friends back in D.C. (and his O.C.D. support group).  Klein is a technical writer who moves from D.C. out to the remote West Virginia woods, into a beautiful (and modern) home on a 17-acre lot.  He is generally a lonely loser type (hmm, I wonder if I found a way to identify with that) and a bit of a bore.  He begins by sending detailed, kind of self-centered video updates to his friends about his great house and the woods around it.  But soon a few odd things begin to happen, and Mark grows more and more obsessed with them.  His solitude is more than geographic, as you get the feeling nobody is really watching his videos or cares much about what he is going through.  I am guessing Josh Criss put this film together for under $3,000 in total.  There’s nothing exciting or scary about Leaving D.C., but it’s an interesting look at a character you wind up feeling sorry for, when at first you just find him kind of irritating.  So, think of it more that way, as a character study.  The ending is anticlimactic but the film length is only 77 minutes, which feels about right here.  I wouldn’t say this is a “decent into madness” film, but it is a bit of a “watch the phobias and insecurities take a stronger hold” movie.  Not bad, and considering the tiny budget and – minus one scene and one phone call – it being a true one-man show, maybe you should give it a try.  You can appreciate it on that level alone, and possibly a few others.  Oh, I just realized as I finished this review, the character development reminds me a bit of Matt Malloy’s character Howard in Neil LaBute’s gem In the Company of Men.  Being unremarkable and ordinary can be a hard way to get through life.


Frazier Park Recut (Amazon) – Sam and Tyler (Sam Hanover and Tyler Schnabel) are making their first feature, with Tyler directing and Sam writing the screenplay.  (In real life, they were the co-writers and co-directors of this film).  It’s a small film, to be shot over a week at a cabin they rent on AirBnB.  It only calls for the two of them (playing brothers), and the villain - a groundskeeper - for whom they cast Tom (David Lee Hess).  And little by little we learn that Tom is a lot more than either of them expected, in good ways and bad.  The plot line isn’t that complicated, but in making this film they made the smart decision that if the general ideas are a bit obvious, the best thing to do is reveal them to the audience, and instead make the journey itself the entertainment.  You have to get through the early part of the movie - to their arrival at the cabin - before things pick up and the film becomes more engrossing.  I was questioning whether I was going to keep watching before that point, but I didn’t give up.  Like Leaving D.C., this feature is shorter than more commercial projects, running about 71 minutes.  But as you may have read before in this column, low budget independent films these days are more than willing to keep a film shorter rather than bloat the story, especially when every extra minute of filming means more money spent.  If you’re willing to stick with this one to where they arrive at the cabin (which really was rented through AirBnB, as it turns out), it’s pretty fun and worth a try. 


Survive the Hollow Shoals (Amazon) – The premise is simple: Zack (Brent McGhee) has decided to do a 60-day wilderness survival thing in the Hollow Shoals of Georgia.  All he has is a bit of gear (a pot, a knife, etc.) and his camera equipment.  He’s got to find drinkable water, build a shelter, locate food…and avoid the weird noises he hears at night.  There’s a lot of “Blair Witchiness” to this one, which is sad because it started out with some promise.  The addition of him explaining survival skills, building his shelter, starting a fire, etc. works well and keeps things more interesting than they might otherwise be.  This film throws in some jump scares, which were lacking from the previous two, but for me those were ruined by the sudden addition of a musical scare track at each of those moments.  How would there be sudden musical pulses on found footage?  It may heighten the effect the first time, but quickly it kills the whole suspension of disbelief.  And there’s no real progression to the story.  Zack hears things, then sees things, but it’s just one day after another.  His actions at various parts of the movie make no sense to me, even if he gets around to trying to escape his situation later on.  Sorry to say you probably should skip this one.  It’s not terrible though…so if you want to try it, maybe watch it late at night if you’re alone or with someone who jumps at the appropriate moments.


Butterfly Kisses (Amazon) – Okay, try to keep up with me here, because this gets a little complicated.  There are two college students, who ten years ago worked on a documentary about the urban legend known as Peeping Tom.  The story is if you go to one particular railroad underpass and, starting exactly at midnight, stare without blinking down the tunnel for an hour, Peeping Tom (also known as Blink Man) appears.  But the catch is once you see him, every time you blink, he moves closer and closer, until he gets you.  So why would anyone want to do this?  I guess the same reason anyone watched the “Death tape” in The Ring; the thrill, and knowing it isn’t true.  Or is it? 


Jump forward ten years to the present.  A wanna-be filmmaker named Gavin who does wedding videos (Seth Adam Kallick) comes into possession of this unfinished thesis film, as his mother-in-law finds a box of all the uncut footage in the basement of the house she’s just moved into.  And he becomes obsessed with them.  He even hires a documentary crew to film his work finishing their thesis and revealing it to the world.  This means we’re watching (from the camera’s point of view) as documentary about a guy making a movie about a movie.  Gavin has spent a lot of time trying to track down the people in the footage, from the two students to their teacher to interview subjects, and can’t find anything (except for one author).  Is this unfinished thesis a documentary, or a horror film of some kind?  With all the time and money that Gavin has poured into the idea (to the great dismay of his wife), he’s set on the footage being a documentary, and Peeping Tom being real.


What we’re left with is a three-part story.  Part one, the inner-most circle, is the student thesis.  Did these two students catch Peeping Tom on tape?  Is it a hoax?  Is it “real” to one of them but a hoax perpetuated by one of the two students on the other?  Part two, we have the middle circle.  Gavin is wound very tight and as a character not really likable (which seems to be on purpose).  Has Gavin’s obsession, and his devotion to the project, caused him to lose sight of reality?  Or did he create the footage himself, and then place it conveniently in the basement for his in-laws to find?  And then part three, the documentary crew filming Gavin.  They need a decent ending to this film about one man’s obsession and how he’s destroying his life in the pursuit of money and fame.  How much responsibility do they have to help Gavin maintain his sanity?  And while they struggle to remain detached and uninvolved, how much will they bend those rules to get a useable ending to their own film?


None of this is great, but most of it is good.  There’s a lot more here than the usual found footage plot.  Obsession, fame, ethics, personal responsibility, and the documentarian’s desire to observe but never to interact and change the action are all covered.  And through it all there’s the specter of Peeping Tom, and whether he might be a real monster.  The film felt a little long, but it was entertaining and a nice change-of-pace.


3:15 AM (Amazon) – The fifth of the group…and the worst.  Just terrible.  It’s a French anthology of found footage, but I only made it through 1 ½ stores.  The dialogue is mundane, the actors are sleepwalking through everything, and the plots are written on the back of a cocktail napkin.  Forgetting the stupid wraparound story, the first part is a Chinese girl returns to her parents in France from college in Canada.  There are weird sounds in the attic.  Finally, she goes up there, and dies.  Wow, who came up with that?  Einstein?  The next part was some French teenagers making a “movie” which consisted of a guy in a hockey mask killing people.  “We need that scene for our movie!”  I’m not even going into the rest of that story.  To top it all off, Amazon was showing me double captions (since it isn’t in English) which were hard to read.  But honestly you don’t need to read them.  You could figure it out without the captions, even without the sound.  Terrible.


Deadwind (Netflix) – This is another of those Scandinavian crime drama series that keep popping up on Netflix.  I see the term used to describe these now appears to be “Nordic Noir.”  Clever.  Anyway, the Finnish series Deadwind focuses on police detective Sofia Karppi (Pihla Vitala).  After her husband dies while the family lives in Germany, Sofia brings her son and adopted daughter back to Helsinki and returns to the force.  Season One (which I just finished) starts off with Karppi finding the body of a woman buried on a construction site, and the more she tries to unravel the mystery of her death, the more complicated things become.  Her new partner Sakari Nurmi (Lauri Tilkanen) has secrets of his own to keep hidden while he tries to manage his difficult partner.  At one point he asks Karppi “What was your husband like?  I’m just trying to imagine what kind of man could tolerate you.”  It isn’t as cold as it sounds (or as cold as the frigid atmosphere of Finland), and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop as they worked together.  Deadwind isn’t completely formulaic, although there’s the obligatory introduction of child abuse that seems to pop up in every one of these European crime dramas.  The writers did a good job of keeping a number of story lines moving, crossing each other but not necessarily all coming together.  And because those plots are each moving at once, you never know if the red herring in one plot line will become a solid lead in another.  I’m going to give Season 2 a try, which isn’t faint praise these days, so you might consider this series too.  I find myself wondering what it would be like to live in all these places, and thinking – if I could find a decent job – I kind of wish I could go off and spend five years seeing how it went.  Who knows, maybe I will someday?  Why not Finland?


Later…I watched Season 2.  I enjoyed it, although it wasn’t as well-written as the first.  The conclusion became too obvious earlier than it was supposed to (for me anyway), and the secondary story threads were all tied together far too neatly, and with no real payoff.  It was like watching the end of a Poirot mystery, with too many things conveniently being connected.  In the first season the lines crossed more naturally, and that allowed multiple resolutions at the same time.  Instead, in Season 2 all the lines formed a single line at the end.  Still I know there will be a Season 3, and I’ll watch it when it’s made available to me.  Pihla Vitala has a strong-enough presence that I’m willing to go one more season (or at least part of one) to see if things tighten up.


Host (Shudder) – I’ve seen this new pandemic-era horror film get a lot of love on social media, so I was kind of forced to check it out for myself.  During the pandemic lockdown, Haley and some of her friends decide to get together on Zoom on their laptops and – with the help of someone Haley knows – perform a sort of séance.  And, as you’d expect, things start to go wrong.  Reviews include phrases like “brilliant” and “so scary” and “not for the faint of heart.”  None of that is accurate.  But it’s not awful; I think it’s simply the topical nature of the film (and the fact that by comparison to half the garbage Shudder puts on its service – especially the new films – the bar is set pretty low) that has some people thrilled by it.  I wouldn’t call it found footage, but it’s all presented in the form of us watching a screen displaying the Zoom meeting.  While the idea is a little novel, the plot follows the exact kind of path you would expect.  And the notion of every friend dragging their laptops around when checking on strange noises and mysterious lights is the detail that killed the suspension of disbelief for me.  One girl even carries her laptop with her as she’s climbing the attic ladder, making sure to keep the camera pointed out so we can see what’s happening.  There are a few jump scares, and that’s the extent of the “fright.”  However, the banter between friends is kind of fun, as the dialogue is natural and well-written.  And there’s one scene in particular that’s shot in a very clever fashion, involving the use of filters such as those you can use on video chats or Snapchat.  Plus, it’s only 57 minutes long, so it never gets boring.  If you ignore the lavish praise and keep your expectations tempered, it’s just the kind of fast film you might enjoy watching during a dark, quiet evening.


Player Aid Sheet




To finish the game with more cash than any other player.




1.   Set up the game tray according to the picture on the overleaf of the rule booklet.

2.   Put the game board in the center of the table with the gray tiles face down near it.

3.   Designate a “banker” and a “stock broker” to handle distribution of stock certificates (if desired).  The banker distributes $6,000 to each player:

    Four $1,000 notes

    Three $500 notes

    Five $100 notes

4.   The banker keeps the rest of the money in front of him in four piles.

5.   To determine who goes first, each player draws one of the face down gray tiles and places it on the board.  The player whose tile is closest to “A-1” goes first.

    Note that if during this process two tiles are adjacent to each other they are considered unincorporated until a third tile is placed adjacent to them.

6.   All players draw 6 tiles and keep them face down in front of them.


Turn Summary:


1.   Play a tile onto the game board onto its matching space.

2.   Buy stocks or any active corporation.  No more than three stock individual certificates can be purchased in one turn.

3.   Draw a new tile to replace the tile that has been played.


Game Play:


1.   Playing a tile – Depending on how a tile is played, one of four things can happen:

    The tile is not adjacent to other tiles and is “unincorporated”. (note that “adjacent” always refers to orthogonal)

    The tile is adjacent to another “unincorporated” tile and so forms a “corporation”. 

    When a corporation is formed the player selects an available building from the tray and places it on any one of the corporation’s tiles. 

    The player then gets one free stock certificate for founding the corporation. 

    The tile is adjacent to an existing corporation, in which case the corporation grows in size by one tile and its stock increases in value according to the stock value chart.

    A corporation that is 11 tiles or more in size is “safe” and cannot be merged with (see below). 

    A safe corporation can absorb a smaller corporation through merger, but can never be absorbed itself.

    A tile cannot be placed in a location that would cause two safe corporations to merge.  Such a tile is discarded and redrawn from the existing supply.

    The tile is placed adjacent to two (or more) existing corporations.  In this case the two corporations merge:

    Count the number of tiles in each corporation (do not include the merging tile in the count for either)

    The larger corporation always absorbs the smaller corporation.

    If corporations are the same size, the mergemaker determines which survives.

    Remove the building from the smaller corporation and return it to the tray.

    All players reveal how many stock certificates the hold in the now defunct corporation.  The player with the most becomes the “Majority Stockholder” while the player with the next most becomes the “Minority Stockholder”. 

    The Majority Stockholder receives the bonus indicated by cross-referencing the number of tiles in the defunct corporation and type of corporation (small, medium, large).  The Minority stockholder receives the bonus indicated in the next column to the right.

    If one player is both the sole stockholder in a corporation, that player gets both bonuses.

    If there is a tie for Majority Stockholder, add the majority and minority bonus and divide evenly between those who are tied.  The Minority Stockholder gets nothing.

    If there is a tie for Minority Stockholder, split the Minority Stockholder bonus indicated among those tied.

    Players must not decide what to do with their defunct stock.  They may (starting with the mergemaker):

    Hold – The player can keep the stock certificates from the defunct company anticipating that it will be founded again.

    Sell – The player can sell their stock certificates back to the bank for the market value of the corporation directly before the merger.

    Trade – The player can trade stock in for stock of the surviving company at a rate of 2 to 1.

    Note that a player can perform any combination of the above with their remaining stock certificates.


    If a tile is placed that merges more than one corporation, the larger one survives and the smaller ones become defunct.  The corporations are absorbed one at a time from largest to smallest.


2.   Buying Stock – A player can buy up to three individual stock certificates from active corporations.

    Stock prices are determined as follows:

    Find the name of the corporation in which stock is being purchased

    Reference down that column to find how many tiles in size the corporation currently is

    Cross-reference that to the stock price column for the cost per certificate.

    There are only 25 certificates for each corporation – once those certificates are gone, they can not be purchased (unless there is a merger and stock is returned to the tray through trade)


3.   Finish the turn by drawing one tile from the supply to replace the tile that was just played.  Each player should always have six tiles in front of them.


4.   Ending the Game – The games ends when one player, during his or her turn, announces that either all active corporations are safe OR that one corporation has 41 tiles or more.  A player does not have to announce that the game is over if they do not wish to.  After announcing that the game is over, that player may finish their turn.

    Majority and Minority bonuses are paid out in the surviving active corporations

    All stocks are sold back at their market price


Winning the Game:


The player with the most cash wins.



Reference Charts

Turn Order:

1.   Place a Tile

2.   Buy Stock (up to 3)

3.   Draw a Tile


Mergers At a Glance:

1.   Two orthogonally adjacent tiles form a corporation.

2.   Count tiles in each corporation, not counting the merging tile.

3.   The Smaller becomes defunct.  Remove its building from the board.

4.   Player with most stock in defunct corporation gets Majority Stockholder Bonus.

5.   Player with the next most gets the Minority Stockholder bonus.

6.   Players (starting with mergemaker) can then either hold, sell or trade their remaining stock in the defunct corporation.

7.   In multiple mergers, the largest company survives, and the others are absorbed from largest to smallest.

8.   A corporation 11 or more tiles in size is “safe” and can never be absorbed, but can absorb smaller corporations.


Game End:

The game ends when a player declares that either:

1.   All the active corporations are safe, or

2.   One of the active corporations has reached 41 tiles or more in size.


Play By Mail Changes:

1.     Each turn consists of a round plus one extra tile placement for the first player.  This way the first player rotates.

2.     Conditional orders are usually necessary for each turn.

3.     If a player does not have conditional orders for a merger he holds shares in, the default is his shares are sold.

4.     If a chain is started but no chain is selected, the GM will select the least expensive chain.

5.     The GM reserves the right to do whatever the heck he wants.



Number of Hotels in Chain on Board

Price Per Block

Majority Holder's Bonus








































































House Rules for Kremlin

(Adapted from Boris the Spider)


1. The Advanced Rules as supplied in the game will be used except as modified in these rules. The expansion deck less Card #66 will also be used.

2. The first set of orders mailed in by each player will be the distribution of the 55 allocated IP (these IPs need not be declared yet, merely allocated) and orders for the 1st portion of Turn 1.

3. Each turn is generally divided into two (2) portions. The first consists of the Cure, Purge, Investigation, and Health phases. The second consists of the Replacement, Rehabilitation and Parade phases. The GM reserves the right to separate the turn due to a radically unpredictable intrigue card events.

4. Increasing Influence: At the end of the 3rd, 6th, and 9th turns a separate mailing turn will be issued for the option of publicly announcing increased IPs or acquiring additional intrigue cards. Conditional orders are recommended.

5. Special procedures for the first portion:

a. PURGE: Each Player eligible should write purge attempt orders. Only one of those character will actually have the chance to attempt a Purge; however, since the others do not know who will be active or if a "first purge attempt" intrigue card is used, all characters should have Purge Phase orders just in case.

b. INVESTIGATION: Each player eligible may attempt to conduct a trial and/or condemn a Candidate to Siberia. In addition, ALL Politburo members must order Guilty or Innocent votes for each member of the Politburo under investigation in case a member is brought to trial. If a Politburo member is put on trial, any other Politburo member not casting a vote for or against the one on trial is considered to have cast a Guilty vote.

6. Special procedures for the second portion:

FUNERAL: If the Party Chief post is vacant, each of the Politburo members do the following:

a.) Nominate an eligible Politburo member to become Party Chief.

b.) Vote yes/no on each Politburo member in case he is nominated to become Party Chief (if no vote is ordered for/against a certain nominee, the vote is considered to be "yes".

c.) List the Politburo members, other than himself and the member listed in a.) in order of preference, to become Party Chief (regardless of their eligibility for step a.); this list is used in case a second nominee is needed.

7. Bribes and Deals: The GM requires a copy of all bribes and deals made between the parties involved in order to be able to enforce the three intrigue card limitation. The GM encourages the players to strike deals where they can.

8. Assigned IPs can be declared at any Point in the turn and can be conditional on any events that occur prior to the declaration of the IPs in the same mailing. If, at any time, two or more players have the same number of declared IP on a character, tie breaker points may be used. If this fails to resolve the tie, the GM decides who has control based on when the IP were declared. If the deadlock continues, the GM will flip a coin. Orders such as "declare as many IP on Badenuff to control him in the Purge Phase" will be followed if possible. Any order ambiguities will be handled by the GM as consistently as possible.

9. If a player does not send in orders for the first or second portions of a turn his characters make no voluntary actions. If he must make nominations, the oldest eligible character is nominated and all votes are "yes" or "guilty". If a player does not send in orders for the "Increase Influence" Interphase:

a) He shall draw Intrigue cards to fill his hand,

b) He shall place any remaining IP on the highest ranking politician possible.

Octopus's Garden


Both Doug and I have been doing some external publicity for this, but to no avail at the moment. So, I will do some more pushing, and see if we can get any interest before the next deadline for:


Railway Rivals Map "B" (London and Liverpool): Five wanted.

Map is at

To get on the waiting list, e-mail me at, and (if you aren't already) join the Eternal Sunshine mailing list at

Out of the WAY #24

by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of




The Gunboat game filled as this went to final copy, so that’ll start next issue. I generally don’t do preference list but several have already submitted one. So, to those who haven’t sent one and in wish to, please send it and those who’ve sent one may update theirs. If over half the players have one submitted, I’ll try it this time. If we do use the lists, it’ll be a trial run on whether I’ll use them in the future. I do need a few standbys, so let me know if you’ll fill in if/when needed.

Also, the Breaking Away game has four players which is enough to get going. So, last call on any additional players and I’ll plan on starting that game next issue too.

I’ve added another section that’ll appear as warranted to include follow-ups, updates and corrections. One set of corrections that won’t necessarily be put there is when it is within a loc, though if it is significant I may put a one-liner directing readers to the loc. Those will fit much better in the letter column and there’s no sense in duplicating material in the same issue.

Lastly, about the zine, the column I’d intended for Texas Talk will take additional research, mostly online as my personal references on the topic where not what I thought they were. Unfortunately, there are quite a few facts and comments I need to verify. So, I’m going to focus on a single state agency that, now, has a surprising identity and history.

I’m not at the gym, still uncomfortable still the set-up (and the C-19 stats in Texas), plus walking is going fine if I head out by 9-930a. Last month I actually ended up with over 2500 minutes over 25 days (Mondays I don’t walk as it is chore and errand day, took July 4th off and one Sunday for a day of rest). So, I’ll continue with the outside program and re-evaluate once we enter a long rainy patch or temps drop precipitously. Note - it is certainly helping with my weight, plus see the Random Review for a weight management program I was able to access through my medical insurance.

I had not planned on mentioned my “waving while walking” effort unless someone brought it up. However, the morning of the day I finalized this column and send to Doug there was a completely unexpected event. Due to a scheduled blood draw (my annual physical is next week as I like having the blood work on hand when I’m talking with the doctor), I was walking earlier than usual. As I was nearing the end of the abbreviated walk, I was in a crosswalk and a van stopped as they were turning into the lane I was currently walking across. As I always try to do I looked at the driver and waved. She returned the wave a little tentatively.

Once I finished crossing, she rolled down the passenger window and got my attention. The gist of the conversation was I’d “made her day” as she first thought it was someone she knew and then realized it was a stranger. The mere fact of looking at her and waving made a positive difference that she wanted to acknowledge. After a few pleasantries she drove off with a smile on her face. It certainly lifted my spirits to know that I was able to improve her morning. So, again, try it when you’re out and about – you don’t know who you might bring a smile to!







                I’m glad to see baseball again on the TV. I almost went out to Dell Diamond for one of the last Hairy Men home games (it was one of 10 collegiate pick-up teams that played two months in a Texas regional pick-up league). I was comfortable with the precautions they were taking with the attendees and felt it would be nice to enjoy one game “live” even if I didn’t know any of the players. However, my friends talked me out of it – and I’m a bit glad they did. After the last home game, with two away games left in the season, they Hairy Men cancelled the rest of their season as two players test positive for C-19. As far as I know, the rest of the league continued with their playoff plans and no attendees at the game caught it there.

                Anyway, I’m catching as many Rangers games as I reasonably can when they are on the regional sports channel (FSSW) or a national feed. Unfortunately, the regional sports channel that carries the Astros (AT&T Sports Net) is not an option on my cable service so I can only watch them on national feeds. If neither is on, I’ll catch another game on a national broadcast (if not pre-empted by basketball, soccer or other games).

                Regardless, I still enjoy seeing former Express players on both teams, and that some who were AAA standouts getting some major league playing time (and some that were a bit less successful, but are usually doing well in the big leagues). Plus, there are players from both the Rangers and Astros franchises that have been traded, released and picked up or gone through free agency that are playing for other teams – I can almost always see one or two of them in just about game match-up.

                Of course, it isn’t as satisfying as actually being in the stands. But, one must make the best of what they receive!




Texas Talk


                You will be surprised to realize the role Texas’s state Railroad Commission (RRC) has for the State, in the United States, one of the first regulatory state agencies created.. If you immediately thought that the Agency’s primary role is transportation or, more specifically, the overseeing the 10,539 miles of track and the companies that use them you’d be within, probably, the 98% of folks who thought that. However, you’d be wrong. That’d be one of the roles of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), either through direct administration or in providing oversight/guidance.

                RRC actually oversees the oil and gas industry and associated infrastructure, including related industries such as coal and uranium – it no longer has anything to do with railroads. When created and named, in 1891, that was its primary function. However, starting in 1995, it slowly shed those responsibilities and by 2005 the last of it was transferred.

                In 1917, the first responsibilities related to oil and gas were given to the RRC. From references, it apparently was by drawing the connection between railroads being “common carriers” and the viewpoint that pipelines carrying those resources also operated under a “common carrier” designation.

                In 1991, the Texas Highway Department (formed in 1917) became TxDOT after previously undergoing several name changes and absorbing other agencies and function. In 1995, they began taking on responsibility for some facets of the railroads and completed that in 2005.

                Immediately, efforts were undertaken to rename the RRC. Around 2005, the idea was to name it the Texas Energy Commission (TEC). However, the related domain ( was currently assigned to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), which was previously the Texas Employment Commission (TEC). The shift from TEC to TWC happened in the mid-1990s when that Agency was reorganized and the delivery of Workforce programs was extensively reorganized and rebranded.

                Thus, my involvement in this process as I oversaw those internet domains, managed the TWC web traffic tracking/logs, as well as AIX administration that the website and DNS (domain name servers) were using. When the TEC domain was replaced by TWC, the decision was to keep the old domain in operation as there was no reason to retire. It had the additional benefit of any existing links on referral websites, in news articles and press releases or on other state websites would not need to be updated.

                However, with the recall of TEC for potential reassignment, there was a scramble to scrub the Agency’s pages for any remaining unchanged links and spreading the word among all other State agencies and key partners to likewise scrub their sites. Fortunately, that was handled by the Agency webmasters and the External Relations staff.

                For me, I monitored the weblogs for any referring sites using a “TEC” domain name…and there were still hundreds over a decade under the new domain. By the end of the effort, about 60% of those were updated (or apparently updated) with the remaining 40% left unchanged, becoming broken when the TEC domain was decommissioned. Most of those appeared to be on dormant domains, archive sites (such as the Wayback Machine site) or squatting sites that put links up hoping to attract someone to drop by and click on a link or put an eyeball on something to generate some revenue.

                In the end, the attempt to rename the Railroad Commission to The Energy Commission failed. Since then, in nearly every legislative session, bills have been proposed to rename the RRC to a variety of different names. However, they generally go nowhere and are lucky to even receive an initial hearing. The general consensus is that the RRC name is so well known around the world that it doesn’t need to change – especially as those who have a business need to know are well aware. Plus, it gives an older, and respected, history to the Agency.


Sources: personal experience; Texas Department of Transportation websites ( and; Railroad Commission of Texas website (





Letter Column

(always welcome, send them in!)

(if something shouldn’t be included here, clearly mark it as a personal comment)


[Richard Smith] – (For Choice) are you going to use the standard rules or Dane’s enhanced version? [WAY} – The standard ones on the Variable Pig website.

[RS] – One last suggestion for games to run: have you considered doing a board game conversion? As I’m sure you’re aware some games just “can’t work” postally but that didn’t stop Tom Howell running two games of Dominion in WIMM? Jim Reader is working on a conversion of Dice Forge to run in VP and I think this should be a good ‘un. [WAY] – I’m always considering doing so, but it also needs to be something that works in a monthly turnaround (at least currently) – most boardgames, due to the player interaction or number of move/variables, require more frequent actions. That being said, I did convert “Facts in Five” with it being more successful this time around than previously. If you’d like to try some converted boardgames, I can say no more than to direct you to Chris Hassler’s S.O.B. zine and website ( He runs a plethora of games via Email including Suburbia, TerraForming Mars, Discworld, Agricola, Settlers (and variants), Merchants of Venus and Power Grid to name a few. Some games are run with generally swift turnaround via Email and others that run on a monthly schedule within the zine itself.


[Matt Velentgas] – I just read the last Eternal Sunshine zine. I need to eat more vegetables, I hopefully will try your recipe soon. [WAY]  - If you do, let me know how it turns out. I’m glad some folks are reviewing the recipes and would appreciate feedback, new ideas/twists, general comments on them and, even, general food related questions (not that I’ll be able to answer every one, but I do have some chef friends to consult). As for vegetables, I’m a big veggie eater. Most dinners start with a side salad, then have a veggie with the main course (unless all I eat is a bigger salad!).


[Mark Nelson] – If I were the pedantic type… I would point out that whisky only matures in the cask, not the bottle. So your 12-year-old bottle is still 12 years old. [WAY] – Thanks for letting me know, I presumed that it had aged as it seemed much smoother than I recall from when I first bought it/sampled it. IT must be my memory has faded with time or my palate has changed over the decade. At least I now know that’ll it’s much cheaper to buy more when these run out.

                [MN] -  At the moment I’m drinking a Bruichladdich (The Classic Laddie) which is an unpeated single malt. Well, I’m not drinking it at this precise moment but when I’m drinking whisky I’m drinking it… which is usually once at the weekend. [WAY] – Never heard of it, which isn’t surprising. I looked it up and it does seem to be available here. I might pick up a small bottle if it isn’t too pricey to try.

                [MN] – From time-to-time I’ve thought about getting The Walking Dead comics (even though I’m supposed to have kicked the habit). [WAY] – They are collected in graphic novels available through standard bookstores, so you’re not buying “comics” and can realistically say you haven’t gotten back into the habit. [MN] – Like the idea of getting them all bundled up and not having to wait for them to appear! [WAY] – Kirkman ended the core Walking Dead comics several months back with issue #193. The end came out of the blue, no one was expecting it. In fact, to keep it as a surprise he had commissioned cover art for future issues and, I believe, had planned release dates established. So, there are now about 32 graphic novels to read the whole series. That said, there has been at least one single issue comic from that universe titled “Negan Lives” so it isn’t completely finished.

                [MN] – (Later after I mentioned the series had finished) That’s perfect, as I’m too lazy to have to wait month-by-month… though I imagine that it would take me several years to work my way through them as it is. [WAY] – considering that each novels runs around $20 each (in US), it’s over a $600 investment. You might check your library, I know some around here do carry graphic novels, can get them for you through interlibrary loans or add them to a future buy.





Random Review


                I mentioned in the intro that I started a Weight Management program through my medical insurance. It was provided at no cost to me, though I had to apply to join it (most likely to verify that the insurance would cover the cost. The program is Naturally Slim and is administered via web lessons that may be watched at any time during the week (plus a small packet received before the program starts with a booklet, body tape measure and, for one of the first lessons, a packet of peanuts).

                The programs consists of several stages, I’m in stage three. The first ten weeks are a fairly intense with several videos to watch each week (total time for a single viewing is roughly 40-45 minutes, though as I recall the first week was closer to an hour). Each can be viewed individually or all in one long session. They are used to introduce the core concepts of the program, ancillary videos to help with implementing the program and awareness presentations to help your mindset.

                The second 10-weeks had around 3 videos each week, delving into some additional areas of thought, reinforcing the previously introduced concepts and offer encouragement. You also can indicate a particular areas of concern that the program will add specific videos on every so often during the stretch. The time commitment, as I recall, is generally 20 minutes weekly.

The current stage I’m in has two videos, one on your chosen monthly “focus” (such as walking, hydration, etc.) and the other reviews of previous concepts, encouragement and tips to continue with the program and, in some cases, updates to previous information. This time commitment is well under 10 minutes. All previous videos can be watched at any time if you want to go back to review something, have a question about a specific concept or just want to reinforce/refocus your entire effort. I’m considering around week 26 to go back and “double-up” each week with the videos from corresponding week 26 weeks back.

Additionally, bonus videos were added to the program during my time watching it. Each week now starts with one of the key instructors giving a short, 2-3 minute, pep talk. They are more of a current “state-of-the-time” bit briefly discussing issues with C-19, protests and how the news is effecting people and their mindset. It is also a strong encouragement to work around these issues and stay with the program while staying healthy. The other is, a mostly weekly, roughly 20-minute program, consisting of impromptu discussions between a couple of the program leaders or with a guest speaker. They don’t really discuss the program directly, but delve into related “healthy” lifestyle issues, current research findings and such. The last one dealt with current views on the importance of exercise, by talking with an exercise expert and researcher. The pep talks appear to be ephemeral, a new one each week while the latter conversations are archived and, again, may be watched/rewatched at any time.

Each weekly session starts out with a weigh-in and, if you’ve reached your goal you are encouraged to set another. An optional review of your Vital Needs (once the concept is introduced), a short quiz to see how you are doing with the program followed by the videos. Early sessions also included a “click on what you’re going to focus on that week” to help reinforce the basic concepts.

The only other parts of the program are occasional Instant Messages to your phone with bits of encouragement (you can opt out), occasional Emails besides the weekly “your videos are ready” notice and the “NSTown” online community. I have not participated in that (too many online communities already that I don’t spend much time with). Reportedly it is a place you may ask questions of program staff, post encouragement and tips for other users, have exchanges with counselors and, I presume, is has some other online resources. As I’ve not participated, I can’t give any direct feedback on the efficacy of the community.

The program focuses on changing behaviors, expectations and eating habits. In my experience, there is NO counting of calories, banned foods/ingredients or additional material to buy (such as specific supplements, booklets, “enhanced access” opportunities or branded paraphernalia/t-shirts/water bottles/etc.). I have not received one “come-on” message or ad, no one has endorsed any products in the videos or otherwise sought additional money. However, I’m in the program courtesy of my health insurance which may ban that activity as part of their agreement. The one time I looked on the commercial side, it was stating that the cost was $1/day to enter the program – whether that was a promotional rate, for a given time period (try it out for 10-weeks, then you’ll pay the regular price), etc. I couldn’t say

Without undercutting the program itself, some of the key elements are in managing when and why you eat, how you eat and portion sizing. They encourage exercise and limiting alcohol while focusing on how you hydrate throughout the day. Ancillary areas that relate to eating are also addressed such as stress and sleep.

For myself, I don’t 100% follow everything precisely as presented. Some items I modify to fit my lifestyle (such as how to eat a meal), some I do more than suggested (such as my walking) and others I use different approaches (such as handling stress). Overall, I feel it has been a very successful option for me. I’ve significantly cut my food intake down (generally two smaller meals a day with, maybe, one or two light snacks).

I’ve been very pleased with the results, discounting the first few weeks as a ramp-up, in roughly five months I’ve dropped around 25 pounds of weight and three times in the past week dipped under 200lbs (and yes, I still have a lot to go). Also, when I have my physical next week, my doctor will likely cut back my blood pressure medicine as it is running, so far, in August in the neighborhood of 105/65 even with me reducing the meds on my own. Yes, I’m sure the walking has been a big help but I doubt I’d be in this situation without the modifications to how I approach my weight management.

Is this a good approach for you? That’s up to you and your doctor to decide. However, it is one option out there and I’d encourage you to consider it, if you’re looking at improving your health and weight.

I’ll also throw a plug in for the Noom program. I know little about it, the costs or other efforts related to it. What little I know is, about the same time I started Naturally Slim, a lifelong friend started Noom. One thing he has mentioned he’s counting calories. Last we exchanged notes he was roughly 5-7 pounds further along than I am.





Mini-Book Reviews

(finished since last issue)


The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters (2011; 360p).


                I’d ordered this book several years ago and just read it – I wish I had read it when it first came to my attention. Written by a British consulting psychiatrist, it is a look at how the mind operates using a three aspect model devised by Peters:


                The Chimp – the initial quick impression/reaction to events, whether there is danger or needs immediate reaction. Interested in quick rewards, avoiding risks/responsibility for negative outcomes and provides emotional responses

                The Human – logical, weighs choices and reasoned approaches. Takes the time needed to find the right solution and response, accepts responsibility for actions

                The Computer – the repository of experiences, autopilot (or gremlin/goblin) reactions and, in some cases, learned courses of action


                Understanding the inter-relation between these aspects helps a person understand how and why they, and others, may respond to situations. For example, someone cuts you off in traffic and you immediately hit the horn – that’s a Chimp reaction while if you pause and determine that there was no danger in that action and don’t react, that’s the Human (or, possibly, from the Computer if you’ve put that response into it).

                Lots of good ideas for self-improvement and for improving your self-awareness.  I’ve already used some of ideas to alter some things in my Computer and to be less Chimp-like. I’m going to go back to spend time to use some of the exercises and fully expect to improve my outlook and interactions. You can also see others through this book’s viewpoint (anyone dispute that someone ranting after a brief, perceived, slight is in Chimp mode?).

                Recommended if only for a single read-through to gain the author’s perspective on how people view and interact with the world. [August 2020]


Neighborhood Heroes by Morgan Reilly (2014; 180p).


                The author compiled this book while in high school, and it’s quite an achievement. Interested in a career as a historian, he realized that the time to collect first person stories of America’s greatest generation is drawing to a close. This book includes interviews with 25 Maine veterans, both women and men. Some served in the Pacific, some Europe and some on the home front. All stories were interesting, well presented and give personal viewpoints of what they experienced through a lens of time. Their post war activities and family life briefly concludes each story.

                There are no maps, illustrations or photos which might have added a bit of a nice touch, but it certainly doesn’t detract from these individuals’ experiences. The only caution I’d include is that these are stories collected @60 years after the events, and from faded or aged memories. So some recollections don’t quite fit the historical record, such as the individual who remembers hearing German submarines using snorkels in 1940 (they didn’t enter operational use until 1944). Another example is a person’s list of battle sites had him in the late stages campaigns in Italy and in Germany simultaneously.

                Definitely worth reading if you want a personal view of the American efforts in the Second World War. [July 2020]


Sandman Graphic Novels:


Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman and others (1995; 240p).


                This is a graphic novel collecting the first six Sandman issues, Gaiman’s ‘90s breakout comic series that moved his now stellar career a big step forward. I’ve decided to reread it due to the recent resurgence of interest in the overall story and with new formats coming out (radio play of the original, television series in development updated to “modern” viewpoints).

                The basic premise of the first set of comics is to introduce Sandman/Morpheus and create the structure of his universe. It opens with him being trapped by an Englishman via occult/magic means. Stripped of his tools of powers, eventually the human captors make a mistake allowing him to escape. The rest of the time is him trying to recover his symbols of power while introducing other characters and venues that will reoccur.

                The artwork is amazing, and the lettering presents the aura of the characters. The covers are worthy of wall art! This edition has an introduction by the original editor at Vertigo covering the origins of the story and teases on what it became. At the end is brief afterward by Gaiman.

                Highly recommended to read, and ponder. However, this is not for the younger crowd – graphic violence, sex, and other very much adult situations – though thought-provoking material with very memorable characters. [July 2020]


The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman and others (1995; 232p).


Clive Barker introduced this volume with laudatory comments followed by comments by Gaiman that establishes the tone. The stories round out some of the background from Morpheus’s dream kingdom. Some of the prime characters who left while the Sandman was trapped on Earth are tracked down and the results of their Earthly activities are addressed. And, the depth of this storyline is fleshed out, future plot/events are teased and the richness of this universe is laid out.

Again, not for the younger set with some potentially disturbing events and sides of humanity are part of the story. The illustrations are beautiful, fully conveying and enhancing Gaiman’s words. I can only continue the high recommendation to read it. [August 2020]


Dream Country by Neil Gaiman and others (1995; 160p).


Steve Erickson provides the introduction highlighting the work the entire team has put into this volume. It consists of four stories as an interlude between The Doll’s House and the next volume Season of Mists. The stories are not connected, but are standalone ones that highlight different aspects of Sandman’s world and activities.

The first involves a writer and his muse, with Morpheus only showing up at the end. The second delves into the power of dreams and the myth of the world. The third pulls a string from an aside in the previous volume involving Shakespeare and his plays. The last has to do with the consequences of what one might wish for or seek out.

Finally, Gaiman’s script for the first story is included as one example of how the art of comic writing is done, with caveats that this is just how Gaiman approached Sandman – he uses different presentations depending on the story and the artist. The script includes annotations by the writer and the penciller. Very interesting to flip from the final story to the script and back to see how it began and what resulted.

Excellent! [August 2020]





Babylon 5 Quote


In “Confessions and Lamentations” -  Delenn: “Faith Manages”


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





Recipe of the Month


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

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

                your personal tastes – and remember, it is easier to add “more” of something than to compensate when “too much” has

                been added.


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

                more spice, add an extra jalapeno or use habaneros instead. On the other hand, if you don’t like spicy food, replace the

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

                with specific preferences or allergies.


Daily Salad Considerations

by W Andrew York

(last reviewed August 2020)


I’m going to mostly deviate from a traditional recipe this time. I recently had a conversation with my mother about how I approach my daily salad that I generally eat before my actual dinner at home. She had commented on the time it took to assemble and not having what she liked on it, so she usually didn’t put one together. After our talk, she took some of my ideas and now is eating salad more often as part of her dinner.


I used to buy large, prepacked, bags of lettuce plus other veggies. However, I’d find that, once opened, within a matter of days the veggies were wilting or otherwise not the best – especially if the contents when bought appear damp. So, now I buy largest head of the freshest iceberg lettuce I can find in the store (yes, sometimes I buy romaine, butterhead or other type of lettuce, and in a pinch might by a smaller, prepared, salad bag to consume in a day or two).


To prep the head of lettuce, I peel off the 2-3 outer leaves and toss/compost. Core the head by banging the core directly on the cutting board and twisting it out. Remove any browned/turned bits and any portion of leaves with dirt or other “enhancements”. If I want to have lettuce for sandwiches, I’ll next peel of the next 2-3 outer leaves and put in a separate container to go in the sandwich drawer. Then, I rough chop the lettuce into bite sized and place in a sealed container in the fridge. Lettuce lasts roughly five days, with the whiter/inner bits turning earlier so I’ll try to eat those first. If it looks like it might stretch to 6 days, I’ll usually extend it by adding some bagged spinach on days 5 and 6 (package checked to make sure it is the longest “sell by” date and that there isn’t much moisture inside). The 7th day is usually a spinach salad or I might pick up a 2-day sized package at the farmers market of mixed salad greens.


What else do you need? Well, anything that you want – but to ease assembling the salad it is good to have some options pre-prepped that have decent shelf lives in the fridge. Here are some options that I use regularly with a few other ideas:


Shredded Red Cabbage – I’ll buy a smallish head, or if they have only large heads and the store allows it, a half head (I’ve never had an issue at Sprouts, not so much at HEB). I bring it home, remove 2-3 outer leaves and toss/compost (along with any portions that have been damaged during picking or transport). Slice into 4-6 vertical pieces, depending on size, cut to remove the core from the bottom of each slice (along with any browned, damaged or contaminated end of leaves). Then, I shred in my food processor (I’ve also rough chopped with a knife). That’ll generally last 3 weeks in the fridge before it starts to deteriorate. Sprinkle some on the top of the lettuce.


At this point, I’ll generally dress the salad. Currently I[m using mostly Ken’s brand dressings that are oil based. I do keep Blue Cheese which, as a treat, I’ll top the last of the iceberg lettuce once a week. I do plan on starting to experiment with making my own oil based dressings in the weeks ahead, though I’ll likely not try to make my own Blue Cheese. The best way to dress lettuce is to place the portion into a bowl (put into the side salad bowl first, then move to a mixing bowl to dress). Pour some of the dressing on the lettuce/cabbage mix and toss with tongs or a fork to lightly coat all the leaves, adding a bit more dressing as needed.


Now, to the rest of the toppings:


Carrots – I buy a 1lb bag (or bag from the farmers market) and prep by cutting the ends off and much of the rest of it into small wedges (depending on the diameter of the carrot, split in half and then cut each half into 2, 3 or 4 sticks as appropriate, cut each stick into wedges). I’ll generally cut about 75% of the carrots into wedges, leaving the rest as sticks. If/when I run out of wedges and there are sticks left, I’ll take 2-3 and, using kitchen shears, make wedges for that day’s salad. Carrots will last 3+ weeks most of the time. Do not peel, but wash/dry well.


Cucumbers – I buy one at a time and use the same general approach as I do with the carrots, though the wedges are bigger. Cucumbers generally last up to 2 weeks so I may run out during week 2. If I do notice them starting to deteriorate earlier, or if at the end of the week I have extra, I’ll make a quick cucumber/onion salad (still working on the recipe, it’s not to my satisfaction – using white vinegar as the marinate base).


Peppers – I may or may buy one of these, depends on the cost and my mood. Any color is fine (not hot peppers though), plus they also can be used in breakfast tacos or egg mixtures. Prep by removing the top and the bottom, removing the seeds and white membranes (may need to trim some of the membranes off once cut into flat pieces. Depending on the shape of the pepper cut vertically into 3-6 pieces that lay flat, then dice (including the bottom and the destemmed top). Peppers generally last a bit over 2 weeks.


Red Onion – I generally buy small-medium ones and keep a back-up in the produce basket. Cut off top/bottom, remove the skin (I’m not a restaurant and not unduly worried about waste amount, plus they go into composting when that returns), so I usually take the first onion layer off as well. Split in half and dice. Onions will last at least a couple weeks. I generally find I use all the onion before it becomes an issue and, even if I run out mid-week, I have the spare available to do a quick dice. If you don’t have a red onion, you can substitute sliced green ones or diced sweet onion.


Croutons and/or Bacon Bits– store bought, considering their cost, it’s too much effort to make the ones I like. I generally use 4-5 or a shake or two. You’ll likely use these up before expiration becomes an issue.


Tomato – I usually buy plum tomatoes, but if others are cheaper may buy those or what’s available at the farmers market. For the plum tomatoes, take off the top and trim out the center (leaves three triangles), split the tomato in half and slice into half-moon shapes. For other tomatoes, try to duplicate the process though with larger diameter tomatoes you may need to cut each half-moon into 2-4 wedges. If you use charry/grape tomatoes, halve before using. Cut tomatoes I try not to keep over a week, on the day before I go shopping I’ll eat the remainder as an appetizer, snack or side (see below).


One of the Following:


Avocado – When I do my weekly shop, and the cost of the avocados aren’t ridiculous, I’ll buy 2-3 “hard” ones – for salads, the small sized. As they ripen I’ll use them during the week. Slice in half, carefully remove the pit, then carefully slice the avocado meat into half-moons or cubes in the skin (if you slice in the air, be VERY careful you don’t cut through the skin – a chef friend of mine had a bad gash one time and now only slices avocados on a cutting board). Scoop onto the salad with a spoon. Sprinkle with a little Kosher salt to bring out the flavor.


Hard Boiled Egg – I keep several of these in the fridge, and boil more as I use them up. Basically peel and run through an egg slicer. To change things up, I might rotate the egg 90 degrees to make ovals or, after cutting once, turn 90 degrees and slice again to make small egg bits.


Other Options:


Shredded Cheese – a pinch or two of mozzarella, sharp cheddar or Colby (and, yes, I shred my own in the food processor to avoid the chemicals in the preshredded cheese in the grocery store)


Celery – I process it similar to carrots/cucumbers, washing each stalk after removing the bulb. I don’t do this much as it generates so much celery that I never eat it all before it goes bad at 3-4 weeks. I’m not a big celery fan.


Meat – either something like diced/minced ham, torn or sliced ham or turkey or pepperoni slices. Try shredded chicken, left-over sliced steak or something else you have around.


Other Veggies – I’ve, at times, used jicama, kohlrabi, radishes (shredded and minced), fresh corn kernels and other greens (such as arugula and endive). Also, thawed peas or corn are an option. Try different things, you might find something you quite like while using up bits and pieces left in the fridge.



Leftover Tomato Slices

by W Andrew York

(last reviewed August 2020)




Leftover Sliced Tomatoes or a Freshly sliced Tomato, best at room temperature

Olive Oil (preferably a flavorful one)

Salt (I have a special container of Fleur de Sel from Mauritius that is my go to finishing salt;

                                if not, any coarse salt such as Kosher is best)

Bread (baguette ends work great!)




1)       Array Tomato slices in a single layer on one or more plates

2)       Lightly drizzle Olive Oil on tomatoes (don’t worry if some ends up on the plate)

3)       Lightly sprinkle Salt on tomato slices

4)       After the Tomatoes are consumed, sop up excess salted oil with Bread and enjoy






When I have updates to previous items, or corrections outside the games, they’ll be here. If there are none, this section won’t appear.


Regarding the Microwaved Mini-Pizza Recipe from OOTW #20 - I recently tried a new sauce instead of a tomato or pesto one. At the Lakeline Farmer’s Market there is a vendor that makes homemade Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce – her recipe includes grapeseed and canola oils, garlic, lemon juice and salt). So, decided to try that and it definitely was tasty and imparted a strong garlic flavor. So look for some for sale at Mediterranean restaurants/grocers or while checking out your local farmer’s market.

                And, as a side note for “Fear the Walking Dead” fans, Lakeline Mall is where they shot the exterior scenes when they collected supplies from the abandoned mall last season with the medical lab (interior scenes I’m sure were done on a set). The locations are right next to where the farmer’s market is held, the storefront to the left is a closed Sears store.


Regarding aging whisky – see Mark Nelson’s loc this issue to clarify when that actually occurs.





Game Section


Everyone Plays Games: Hangman, By Definition; Facts in Five


Game Openings: Breaking Away (Kent, Burgess, Smith; Firth – starts next issue, sign up if interested);

No-Press Gunboat Diplomacy (7 Players, Closed); Standard Choice (Smith, minimum 4 players needed)


Possible Game Openings: Breaking Away Variants

Suggestions accepted for other games to offer.


Standbys: Breaking Away (none); Gunboat Diplomacy (none)


Rules for Breaking Away. Breaking Away Variants and Choice available on the Variable Pig website (




Hangman, By Definition


This is a five round game, with each round consisting of a variable number of turns. The winner will be the person who wins the most rounds, with a tie breaker being fewest total number of turns in those winning rounds. Second tie breaker will be the most number of letters guessed (by total count revealed, not by individual letter).


Each round will consist of identifying a word of at least six letters. Along with each word will be the first definition given. All words and definitions will be identified by blank spaces. Words and definitions are verified in a dictionary that was my high school graduation gift (slight hint to those who might want to find the edition).


The goal is to guess the word in as few turns as possible. Each turn, all players will submit one letter to be revealed. The letter submitted by the most players will be the letter revealed in the next turn. Ties will be broken by a randomized method. Additionally, each player should submit a guess for the word. Once the word is correctly identified (spelling is important), that round will end and a new round will begin. All players who guess the word in the same turn will share in the win for the round. If the word is not guessed by the end of six turns with no letter being revealed, no one will win the round.


Along with revealing letters in the word, letters will be revealed in the definition. There are no bonus points for guessing any part of the definition, it is only there to help players figure out the word. No guesses about parts of the definition will be confirmed or displayed except by the letter revealed in that round. The letters “E” and “S” can never be chosen as the letter to be revealed.


Game 1, Round Two, Turn 1:


                Letter Votes: 1 – H; I – 1; L – 1; M – 1; O – 1; P – 1; R - 1       Revealed: (dice roll decision with d8) - P


                Words Guessed:   Conclusion (Kent); Elementary (Wilson); Republican (Lischett); Zoanthropy (Smith);

                                                Workaround (Maslen); Hesitation (Firth)




                Word:                     __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  (10)


Definition:             __  (1)    __  __  __  __  __  (5)    __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  (11)   


__  __  __  __  __  (5)    __  __  __  __  __  (5)    __  __  (2)    __  (1)    __  __  __  __  __ , (5)


__  __  __  __  (4)    __  __  (2)    __  __  __  (3)    __  __  __  __  __  __  __  (7)


__  __  __  __  __  __  (6)    __  __  __  (3)    __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  __  (9)


__  __  (2)    __  __  __  __  __  (5)


                Never Revealed:  E, S                         Already Revealed: P


    Game Words Correctly Guessed: Infinitesimal (David-Gardner, Firth, Kent, Smith, Wilson)





                                                                        FACTS IN FIVE


Rules:     There will be five rounds, the cumulative high score at the end of the fifth round will be the winner. Anyone may join anytime with a starting score matching the lowest total from the previous round. Anyone missing a round will add the lowest score of that round.

                Each round will consist of five categories and five letters.  Each player submit may an entry for each category which has a key word that starts with each of the letters (twenty-five total entries). Key words are generally the first word; however articles (the, a, etc.) and modifiers (“red” in red bicycle for “R” in “mode of transportation” or “general” in General Lee for “G” in “Military Leaders”) are not key words. A word in the category may not be the key word (“bank” in “Bank of America” for “B” in the category “Banks”). For given names, the last name is the key word, if married it will be their post-marriage last name. However, in the case of commonly used stage names, that name should be used (in a category of female singers, ”Q” could be “Queen Latifa” and “Cher” for “C”). An entry may only be used once per round.

                One point will be scored for each entry that unarguably meets the letter and category. An additional point will be added if anyone else also uses the same valid entry for the same category. Maximum possible score in a round is 50 with a lowest possible score of 25, presuming an individual submits a valid entry for each category and letter in that round.

                Research is allowed, collaboration between players is not.


Round Three


Bolded - Scores 2 points for matching another entry; Crossed Out - scores 0 points; otherwise scores 1 point.


REMINDER - Last names are generally the key word, not first names.


  Players                                 B                             E                             F                              M                            O



    Heath Davis-Gardner     Beetle                     Earwig                  Fly                          Mosquito              Owl Moth

    Mark Firth                        Bee                         Earwig                  Fly                          Moth                      Orange Ladybird

    Doug Kent                        Bee                         Earwig                  Fly                          Moth                      Owl Butterfly

    Andy Lischett                  Butterfly                Earwig                  Fly                          Mosquito              Owl Moth

    Kevin Wilson                   Bee                         Earwig                  Flies                       Moth                      Owl Moth


Famous Engineers

    Heath Davis-Gardner     I. K. Brunei         Eiffel                     H. Ford                 E. Musk                Nicolaus August Otto

    Mark Firth                        I. K. Brunel         G Eiffel                 H. Ford                 J. Macadam         N. Otto

    Doug Kent                        Bell                         Eiffel                     Ford                       Musk                      Otto

    Andy Lischett                  Ettore Bugatti       Eiffel                     Henry Ford         Alfieri Maserati   R. E. Olds

    Kevin Wilson                   Carl Benz              James B. Eads      Henry Ford         Elon Musk            Nicolaus Otto



    Heath Davis-Gardner     Battleaxe              Epee                       Flamethrower       Machine Gun      Ordinance

    Mark Firth                        Boh Earspoon      Emot Black           Fauchard              Machete                Onzil

    Doug Kent                        Bat                         Elephant Gun      Fauchard              Morning Star        Oxborough Dirk

    Andy Lischett                  Boomerang           Elephant Gun      Fist                          Machine Gun      Oil (Boiling)

    Kevin Wilson                   Bazooka                Epee                       Foil                         Machine Gun      Onager


Dog Breeds

    Heath Davis-Gardner     Beagle                   English Bulldog  French Bulldog  Mastiff                                  O. E. Bulldogge

    Mark Firth                        Borzoi                    Ent Sennenhund  Finnish Spitz         Molosses of Epirus              Otterhound

    Doug Kent                        Bassett Hound     Eng Spring Span Fox Hound           Miniature Schnauzer          Otterhound

    Andy Lischett                  Beagle                   Eng Bull Dog       Fr Bull Dog          Maltese                                 Otterhound

    Kevin Wilson                   Beagle                   Eng Foxhound     Fox Terrier            Maltese                                 Old Eng Sheepdog


Non-American Historical Monuments or Sites

    Heath Davis-Gardner     Burj Khalifa         Eiffel Tower        Forbidden City   Machu Picchu                     Odessa

    Mark Firth                        Bannockburn       Edgehill                  Fulford                   Marston Moor                      Oswiecim

    Doug Kent                        Big Ben                 Eiffel Tower        Forgotten City      Machu Picchu                     Opera Garnier

    Andy Lischett                  Bastille                   Eiffel Tower        Fr Foreign Leg     (The) Marne                         Orsay Museum

    Kevin Wilson                   Brand Gate           Eiffel Tower        Forbidden City   Machu Picchu                     Old City, Jerusalem


Note – for disallowed answers, please feel free to correct me!


Notes on Heath’s Answers: O, E, Bulldogge is an Olde English Bulldogge which is an actual breed distinct from an English Bulldog

Notes on Mark’s Answers:  Boh Earspoon is a Bohemin Earspoon [WAY] New one on me!; Emot Black is Emotional Blackmail; Ent Sennenhund is an Entlebucher Sennenhund

Notes on Doug’s Answers: Eng Spring Span is an English Springer Spaniel; Forgotten City seems to be either a computer game or a fictional city in RPGs so it is disallowed

Notes on Andy’s Answers: He commented, “My O monument is an English translation of Musee D’Orsay, if you allow that. [WAY]: If it is also known by that name, which it is, that’s fine (i.e., I type in to the search engine, my primary one is Duck Duck Go, and if it comes up it’s good; Fr Foreign Leg is the French Foreign Legion Memorial (Corsica); Eng Bull Dog is an English Bull Dog; Fr Bull Dog is a French Bull Dog

Notes on Kevin’s Answers: Eng Foxhound is an English Foxhound; Old Eng Sheepdog is an Old English Sheepdog; Brand Gate is Brandenburg Gate


Round Four


Letters:                  A             D             G             N             T            

Categories:            Living Head of State; Musical Play Titles; Wine Product Tradenames; Female Authored Book/Novel Title;

                                                Jazz Musician


Current Standings


Scores by Category             1st           2nd         3rd          4th          5th          Now                        Previous                 Total     

   Kevin Wilson                    10             8           7                7           8              40           +              113         =              153

   Doug Kent                         10             9           7                5           6              38           +              111         =              149

   Heath David-Gardner        9           10           7                8           8              40           +              108         =              148

   Andy Lischett                     9             7           7              10           6              39           +                94         =              133

   Mark Firth                            9             9           6                6           5              35           +                92         =              127


Player Comments: None





Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


September 9, 2020 at noon – See You Then!


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


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


Eternal Sunshine Game Section


Diplomacy, “Indestructible Machine”, 2020A, F 03

Austria: Rick Davis – - A Budapest – Vienna, A Galicia – Warsaw,

 F Greece - Bulgaria(sc) (*Bounce*), A Serbia - Bulgaria (*Bounce*).

England: Mark Firth – - Retreat F North Sea - London..F Helgoland Bight Supports

 F Skagerrak - North Sea (*Cut*), F London Supports F Skagerrak - North Sea, F Skagerrak - North Sea,

 A Yorkshire - Edinburgh.

France: John David Galt - F English Channel - Belgium (*Fails*),

 A Marseilles Supports A Paris – Burgundy, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - Western Mediterranean, A Paris – Burgundy,

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

Germany: Andy Lischett – - A Belgium Hold, A Burgundy – Munich,

 F Denmark Supports F Sweden – Skagerrak, F Holland - Helgoland Bight (*Fails*), A Kiel Supports F Denmark.

Italy: Toby Harris - F Ionian Sea - Aegean Sea (*Bounce*), A Piedmont Hold,

 A Trieste Supports A Budapest – Vienna, A Tyrolia Supports A Budapest – Vienna, F Western Mediterranean Hold

 (*Dislodged*, retreat to North Africa or Tunis or Tyrrhenian Sea or Gulf of Lyon or OTB).

Russia: Bob Durf – - F Black Sea Supports A Rumania,

 F North Sea Supports F Sweden - Skagerrak (*Dislodged*, retreat to Norwegian Sea or Yorkshire or OTB),

 A Norway Hold, A Rumania Hold, F Sweden – Skagerrak,

 A Vienna - Trieste (*Dislodged*, retreat to Galicia or Bohemia or OTB).

Turkey: Jack McHugh -  Retreat A Serbia - Albania..F Aegean Sea - Ionian Sea

 (*Fails*), A Albania - Greece (*Fails*), A Bulgaria Supports A Albania - Greece (*Cut*),

 F Constantinople - Aegean Sea (*Bounce*).


Supply Center Chart


Austria:            Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Vienna, Warsaw=5                                       Build 1

England:           Edinburgh, Liverpool, London=3                                                           Remove 1

France:             Brest, Marseilles, Paris, Portugal, Spain=5                                            Even

Germany:         Belgium, Berlin, Denmark, Holland, Kiel, Munich=6                               Build 1

Italy:                Naples, Rome, Trieste, Tunis, Venice=5                                                Even or Build 1

Russia:             Moscow, Norway, Rumania, Sevastopol, St Petersburg, Sweden=6       Even or Build 1 or 2

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




From: UNO is a stupid game anyways






From: WBEZ Traffic and Weather 24/7


Deadline for Winter 03/Spring 04 is: September 12th, 2020 at 7am My Time

Diplomacy, “Wine Lips”, 2020B, Winter 1901


Austria: Harold Reynolds –  - Build A Trieste, A Vienna.. Has A Budapest, F Greece,

 A Serbia, A Trieste, A Vienna.

England: David Cohen – - Build A Edinburgh, F London..Has A Belgium, A Edinburgh,

 F London, F North Sea, F Norway.

France: David Burgess –  - Build F Marseilles, F Brest..Has F Brest, A Burgundy,

 F Marseilles, A Portugal, F Spain(sc).

Germany: Mark Firth – -  Build F Kiel, A Munich.. Has A Denmark, F Holland, F Kiel,

 A Munich, A Ruhr.

Italy: George Atkins - - Build F Naples.. Has F Ionian Sea, F Naples, A Tunis,  

 A Venice.

Russia: Heath Davis-Gardner – - Build A Moscow, A Warsaw..Has A Moscow,

 F Rumania, A Sevastopol, F Sweden, A Ukraine, A Warsaw.

Turkey: Paul Milewski – - Build F Smyrna.. Has A Ankara, A Bulgaria,

 F Constantinople, F Smyrna.


Deadline for Spring 1902 is September 12th, 2020 at 7am My Time




Turkey: What I find surprising about 1901 is that all the neutral supply centers were occupied and none were contested.  I'm wondering what, if anything, this signifies.


Wine joke of the month: I’ve trained my dog to bring me a glass of red wine. It’s a Bordeaux collie.


Captain to crew...

Oh, a pirate's life is a wonderful life

A-rovin' over the sea

Give me a career as a buccaneer

It's the life of a pirate for me

Oh, the life of a pirate for me




There was a young lady named Julia

Who came from the hills of Apulia.

Her eggs over easy

Make everyone queasy

Because their appearance will foolya.


The beautiful town of Trieste

By climate and culture are blessed.

But people's fondness for wine

At quarter-past nine

Makes many a fight and arrest.


A priest from the city of Rome

Whose bald head was shaped like a dome

Was given some art

With which he'd not part

Because it was shaped like a comb.


They say in the country of Wales

There's a definite absence of whales.

It isn't a fluke

There isn't a fluke

And the sounds of their upset are wails.


A curious contest in Tyrol

Is a real difficult pie roll.

If losers complain

They need time to train

The winner will say "Shut yer pie hole."


Balkan Wars VI, “Bad Way to Go”, 2020Apb08, W 11/S 12

Albania: Mark Firth – mogcate@aol.comF Gulf of Corfu – Crete, F Ionian Sea – Malta, A Tirana – Valona,

 F Trieste Hold.

Bulgaria: Jack McHugh - -  Build F Varna.. A Arda Supports F Constantinople,

 F Constantinople Supports F Varna - South Black Sea, A Epirus Supports A Salonika – Athens,

 A Salonika - Athens (*Fails*), A Thrace Supports F Constantinople, F Varna - South Black Sea.

Greece: Kevin Wilson – ckevinw@gmail.comBuild F Sparta.. A Athens Supports

 A Skopje - Salonika (*Void*), F Malta - Gulf of Corfu, F Sparta Supports F Malta - Gulf of Corfu.

Rumania: Brad Wilson – - Remove F Constantsa..A Bucharest Supports

 A Transylvania – Belgrade, A Dubruja – Bithynia, F North Black Sea Convoys A Dubruja – Bithynia,

 A Transylvania - Belgrade.

Serbia: Andy York – - Build F Croatia.. A Belgrade - Bucharest (*Dislodged*, retreat

 to Montenegro or Hercegovina or OTB), A Cluj – Transylvania, A Nish – Oltenia, A Skopje – Nish, F Croatia Hold.

Turkey: Heath Davis-Gardner – - F Aegean Sea Supports A Athens,

 A Smyrna Supports F South Black Sea – Constantinople, F South Black Sea - Constantinople (*Dislodged*,

 retreat to Izmit or Dubruja or OTB).




BUCHAREST: In motion in all directions.


Deadline for F 12 is September 12th at 7am My Time


Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?


The Rules were in Eternal Sunshine #131, read them if you want a detailed explanation and examples.  Basically, this is a guessing game, trying to guess the mystery person and their location (both chosen by me before the game started).  Closest guess gets a public clue and notification they were the closest.  Everyone else sees the clue but has to figure out on their own who was the closest that turn.


Turn 1


Tom Howell:

Izumo no Okuni at the Grand Shrine of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, Japan


Will Abbott:

Justin Welby in Atlanta, GA


Simon Langley-Evans:

Paul Ateriedes in Paris, France


John David Galt:

Hunter Biden in Nairobi, Kenya


Kevin Wilson:

Wayne LaPierre, Jr. in Lagos, Nigeria


Andy Lischett:

Dub Taylor in Gibsland, Louisiana


Richard Smith:

Anna Von Hausswolff in Gothenburg, Sweden


Dane Maslen:

Tedros Adhanom in Geneva, Switzerland


Heath Davis-Gardner:

Scottie Pippen in Mexico City, Mexico


Jack McHugh:

Barack Obama in Nairobi, Kenya


Mark Firth:

Cersei Lannister in Beni, DR Congo


David Burgess:

Elton John in London, England


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

I died before you were born.  Wrong nationality…but correct chromosome.


Turn 2


Will Abbott:

Henrik Ibsen in Edinburgh, Scotland


Simon Langley-Evans:

Ivanka Trump in Beijing, China


John David Galt:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Helsinki, Finland


Andy Lischett:

Little Richard in Macon, GA


Kevin Wilson:

Chaka Zulu in Nagasaki, Japan


Dane Maslen:

Christopher Columbus in Xining, Qinghai province, China


Heath Davis-Gardner:

Bessie Smith in Oslo, Norway


David Burgess:

Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia, PA


Tom Howell:

Billy Graham in St Petersburg, Russia


Jack McHugh:

Charlemagne in New Delhi, India


Richard Smith:

Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger at Catacamas, Honduras


Mark Firth:

Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stuart), in Benidorm, Spain


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

I was born less than twenty years after you.  Correct chromosome.  Doubtful we ever met.




Turn 3


Will Abbott:

Albert Einstein in Sapporo, Japan


John David Galt:

Britney Spears in Nagasaki, Japan


Heath Davis-Gardner:

Elon Musk in Dubai, UAE


Simon Langley-Evans:

Kate Bush in Mexico City, Mexico


Andy Lischett:

U.S. Grant in Vicksburg, Mississippi


Richard Smith:

Marquis de Sade in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


Kevin Wilson:

Al-Mansur Ali the first, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire 


Tom Howell:

Pope Pius VII in Vatican City


Dane Maslen:

John Ashe in Minneapolis, MN


Jack McHugh:

Indira Gandhi in Moscow, Russia


David Burgess:

Robert Peary at the North Pole


Brad Wilson:

Walt Whitman in Riga, Latvia


Mark Firth:

Nicholas Aloysius Adamshock (a.k.a. Nick Adams) in Chernobyl, Ukraine


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

Our lifetimes overlapped for the most part.  We both had work published, but on different subjects.


Turn 4


Will Abbott:

Voltaire in Timbuktu, Mali


Kevin Wilson:

James Watt in Niamey, Niger 


Richard Smith:

John Wolcot at Nouackchott, Mauritania


David Burgess:

Ernest Hemingway in Zurich, Switzerland


Andy Lischett:

Marilyn Monroe in Monrovia, Liberia


Heath Davis-Gardner:

Voltaire in Monrovia, Liberia


Simon Langley-Evans:

Mark Twain in Seoul, South Korea


John David Galt:

Queen Victoria in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Jack McHugh:

Boris Pasternak in Warsaw, Poland


Dane Maslen:

Walt Whitman in Anchorage, Alaska


Mark Firth:

Joseph Priestley in Marrakesh, Morocco


Tom Howell:

Thomas Paine in Accra, Ghana


Brad Wilson:

Joseph Conrad in Warsaw, Poland


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

You’re the closest in distance, and I have been correctly identified…just not by you.  We were born in the same country.


Deadline for Turn 5 is September 12th at 7am My Time

By Popular Demand


I’ve run this game (or By Almost Popular Demand, a slight variant) a number of times in Eternal Sunshine.  The rules are simple: I supply you with five categories.  You send in what you think will be the most popular answer for each category.  Research IS permitted.  You get one point for each person who submitted the answer you gave.  So, if you and two other people send in the same answer that’s three points.  You also get to choose a Joker category, where the points are doubled.  So in the example I gave, you’d get six points in that category if you chose it as your Joker that round.  If you don’t specify a Joker, it gets applied to the first category listed (so you don’t “lose” the Joker).  Always answer for every category: any answer is legal, and will earn a point even if you’re the only person to give it.  High score after ten categories wins.  Any player who joins after the first round starts with the lowest score so far; if you join starting in Turn 3 and the person doing the worst has 27 points so far, that’s what you start with.  Also if you miss a turn, you get the lowest score that round rather than zero.  This makes the game more competitive and keeps you playing even if you arrive late or forget to play one turn.


Turn 6 Categories:

(Don’t forget to specify a Joker category, or it will be applied to Category 1)


1. Something that comes in a can.

2. Something that comes in a box.

3. Something that comes in a bottle.

4. Something that comes in a bag.

5. Something that comes in a roll.


Joker category shown in BOLD.  Most popular answer shown in italics (if I remember to do that part).

Simon Langley-Evans gets the high score this round with 32 (out of a possible 38). Amazingly nobody put the joker on the most popular answer of the turn: Chips.  Paul Milewski scores the bottom with 6.


Comments by Category:


Something that comes in a can: Mark Nelson – “Beer (but perhaps not very many good ones...).”


Something that comes in a box: Mark Nelson – “I was thinking about "wine", but it comes in a cask rather than a box... I also thought about "Jack" - actually been mulling over buying a Jack-in-the-box.  "Presents" sounds too generic. Guess I will go for chocolates.”


Something that comes in a bottle: Mark Nelson – “Wine... only because I buy more wine than beer!”


Something that comes in a bag: Mark Nelson – “I like groceries as an answer, but I will go for crisps.”


Something that comes in a roll: None.


General Comments: Kevin Wilson – “Pretty generic round this time, not too many opportunities for humor or commentary.  Other than rolls of toilet paper. Someone will certainly say that and play on the should be in a roll IF you can find some.   The hardest one was in a box.  Lots of things come in boxes and it was hard to break the household goods/food theme once I got started but nothing leapt to mind for a box.  Anything that did also came in a variety of other containers to didn’t seem to lend itself very well as an answer.  Then, games, we’re all gamers, popped into my head so I thought I’d give that a try.”  Andy Lischett – “These are my first reactions. I'll bet a dollar that no one else picks Gears or Dr. Pepper, but it's possible that others will pick Prince Albert. I initially made Tape my Joker, but don't know if you count Electrical Tape, Scotch Tape and Duct Tape as different answers.”  Richard Smith – “My choices made me think of two famous quotes: "Life is like a box of chocolates" and "Life is like a shit sandwich".”  [[If I was going to do a memoir of my life since “It’s Their House; I’m Just a Guest” maybe I’d call it “Shit Sandwich.”  But since my next one supposedly is about my childhood and our family, the working title remains “The Screaming Adventures of the Whining Kent Pigs.”]]  Simon Langley-Evans – “What a horrible round! Very hard to think how this one is going to go as some of the words don't mean the same thing in the UK as in the US. Over here a roll is made of bread (you might call it a bun. We have lots of names including bap, cob, stotty and barm cake). We call a can a tin. I've also gambled on chips in a bag. We call them crisps and chips are fries to you. I'm not hopeful of a good score in this round.” [[We have the same rolls as you.  But we use the word roll as other things as well, including a verb.  And I do believe in the UK you call it a roll of toilet paper, and a number of candies and mints come in rolls.]]  Mark Nelson – “I found these questions quite taxing, few popular answers spring to mind. Probably means that you chose good questions!”  Dane Maslen – “For 1 and 4 I've decided to hope that the other players are alcoholics with a one-track mind, though maybe SOUP would have been a better choice for 1.  As for my other answers, I expect a low score.”


Turn 7 Categories:

(Don’t forget to specify a Joker category, or it will be applied to Category 1)


1. A blood type.

2. Something that cuts.

3. Something that bites.

4. A musical (film or stage).

5. The color of a condiment.


Deadline for Turn 7 of By Popular Demand is: September 12th at 7am My Time

Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: September 12, 2020 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time)


See You Then!