Eternal Sunshine #149

October 2021

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 at 

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Quote of The Month“Gee, I've got a dozen stops to make. You know, the first day of a homicide investigation, you wouldn't believe it. It's murder.” - (Lt. Columbo in “Columbo”)


Welcome to Eternal Sunshine, back for another month of fun and hijinks.  I don’t have much new and exciting to report.  I survived my first month in the new office.  I’m including a few photos to show you the view.  Some would say it’s beautiful and stunning.  Others would find it frightening.  I waver between the two.


It’s actually hard for people who haven’t experienced vertigo like mine to understand the way it feels.  When its active, I feel like I am falling forward.  That causes me to try and keep myself upright, even though I’m not actually falling at all.  It can be exhausting.  And during those episodes it also causes me to be much more aware of how high up I am.


The biggest issue for me is that if the vertigo catches me unawares, or if it goes on for too long, the anxiety begins.  And that’s the biggest problem in terms of getting through am episode.  For me, anxiety of this sort includes intrusive thoughts.  And those thoughts are not generally logical.  What if the building were to begin to collapse?  What if the façade broke away and the edge of the room crumbled?  I have reasonable, logical responses to those kinds of questions, but it takes a great deal of focus to overcome them.  Breathing slowly and deliberately helps.  Staying hydrated is also important.  And sometimes I’ll do a quick 25 push-ups; physical activity releases a nice cocktail of brain chemicals which can assist.


Of course, the fact that I’ve never cared for heights doesn’t make it any easier.  But the stress and anxiety make me recognize those heights all the time.  On highway ramps and overpasses, for example…ones I’ve driven for years without a thought, I now start considering how stable and safe they may be.  It isn’t all the time, and it varies in severity from day to day.  I’m just hoping that as the weeks go by, I’ll become less susceptible to any of these problems.  I just do my best to get through each day with as little drama as possible.  In general, I’m just lucky to have a job at all, and I’d prefer to keep it as long as possible.  It seems like a shame to have to leave over this, so I’ll do what I can to minimize the attacks.  Fortunately, I have only had a true panic attack once, on one of the first days I went to the office.  Those I don’t wish on anyone.  It’s very different from simple anxiety.  It’s an uncontrollable, overwhelming sense of impending doom.  I’ve only had a few of them in my lifetime, and I’d be quite happy not to have one ever again. 



I got a lot of letters and comments about my considering running down to a fold.  As I try to clarify in the letter column this issue, it isn’t a case of me being hard on myself.  It’s not about that at all.  It is simply an unrelenting fact: the audience for monthly-turn Diplomacy and other such games is very small, and continues to shrink.  Just a look at issues back in the Issue 70 to Issue 80 range will illustrate how dramatically the pool of players in this zine has shrunk.  While I enjoy the GMing and the games, it’s a balance.  If there aren’t enough players, that means there aren’t enough varied personalities.  The zine remains nearly the same level of work, but the enjoyment gets smaller.  At some point, the lines will cross over.


However, I haven’t made any decision about it yet.  Not a firm one, anyway.  And should I decide to fold, I’ll continue to crank out the issues until all the games open at that time finish up, both in the subzines and in the zine proper.


A few ideas were tossed out, as potentially expanding the audience by cutting the turnaround to half a month for some games, and then publishing two turns in each issue.  I imagine that might help bring in a few more players, but it isn’t the kind of thing I want to do at this stage.  All the Diplomacy zines I’ve published – Maniac’s Paradise, Grand Hyatt, and Eternal Sunshine – have run on monthly schedules.  The games have the same, or similar, deadlines, and the results of everything get published all at once.  The process and routine are familiar to me, and it’s part of the reason I enjoy it.  Of course there’s a bit of work on each issue nearly every day throughout the month, as I put in orders as they are received, answer letters, write up reviews, and other things.  And then the adjudication all takes place after the deadline.  And as soon as one issue goes out, I construct the framework for the next one, to be ready for the early orders that can arrive as soon as the same day.


Which reminds me, a couple of people found the Mailchimp email announcement in their spam folder this month.  It seems email systems are getting more aggressive about such things.  Remember that Mailchimp alters my email address – depending on how you get your emails – so it helps if you whitelist the Mailchimp email as well (usually something like  If you’re missing the announcements, check in your spam or junk folder.  And remember, in almost all cases, Eternal Sunshine is out the day of the final deadline, or at worst within a day or two.  So, if you don’t see an announcement and you are wondering if the issue came out, check the Facebook group or the website.  Or email me directly.


In zine news, Andy York’s very early deadline caused him not to have a complete set of orders for any of his games.  So he’s appearing in a “Not Out of the WAY” episode this month, and has pushed the games back to next time.  A little Andy is still better than none at all, and much better than the drivel I provide on my own.  And Peter has returned, finally able to collect all the orders he needed to adjudicate his game. 


By Popular Demand ends this issue.  I’m going to go ahead and start a game of By Almost Popular Demand and see what kind of participation it gets.  The rules are the same as By Popular Demand, except the most popular answer in any category scores zero.  So, the idea is to pick a popular answer, but not the MOST popular answer.  It’s fun as a change of pace.


I guess that’s it from me for now.  See you in November! 

Game Openings

Diplomacy (Black Press): Signed up:  Brad Wilson, Paul Milewski, Heath Davis-Gardner, Jack McHugh, needs three more.  I may or may not proceed with this game.

By Almost Popular Demand: Starts this issue.  Same as By Popular Demand except the most popular answer in each category is worth zero.  Join in and play NOW!

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

Also in Andy York’s Subzine – You can find his ongoing “Hangman, By Definition” and Facts in Five, plus an opening for Breaking Away.

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


Meet Me in Montauk

The Eternal Sunshine Letter Column


Mark Nelson: A movie that I saw mentioned recently which I'd not come across is George Romero's 1981 Knightriders. I was curious as to whether you'd seen it - the tag line of "King Arthur on motorbikes" was intriguing.


[[It’s an interesting film, with Ed Harris in the lead.  Stephen King has a small cameo, along with his wife Tabitha.  To me it was always a cross between Arthurian Legend and Don Quixote.  The motorcycle stunt with is quite extraordinary.]]


Like Andy Lischett I no longer have a video machine (the misses made me throw it away), but I still have a considerable number of VHS tapes (they are in boxes in the garage which she'd forgotten about). There's a combination of a small number of tapes that I bought and a much larger collection of programs/films that I taped from the TV. I probably could replace most of these as they are now available on DVD but there are a few things that are not available. Also, I'd miss watching the commercials on the advert breaks for the programs that were taped from commercial stations!


[[A week or two ago I set up a used VCR/DVD combo player to replace the two that died on me a year ago.  Among the things I have on VHS are some Tom Baker Dr. Who episodes not cheaply replaced in the states.  And, on the Steven King subject, the full Golden Years miniseries on VHS as well.]]


Heath Davis-Gardner: I really hope ES doesn't fold. I, for one, really enjoy it - it has singlehandedly reinvigorated a sustained interest in Dip again, which I genuinely didn't think was going to happen.  just want to say, as someone who has dipped my toe in the waters of self-publication on a schedule and failed miserably every time, I know sometimes it probably feels like people aren't appreciating it, but I guarantee a lot of people enjoy reading it like I do. I used to avidly follow all the dip games in the zines I got as a kid as though it were a spectator sport. There were certain editors that could really write, and that made it genuinely my favorite way to engage with the game. Your zines were always right up there at the top for me.


[[I think it’s less that I feel people aren’t appreciating it.  It’s that not enough people enjoy it to make it worthwhile to continue for much longer.  And the audience only shrinks.]]


When life got really overwhelming for me, I had to drop from everything but the Dip games simply because there were a couple months there where I was lucky to get orders for those games in. I can't believe I survived it, but I'm sorry it caused me to engage less with the zine. That was definitely not reflective of my interest in actually reading the zine. I think there are likely a lot of people with similar stories among your readership.


Good luck in the high-up office, we are currently at the top of one of the tallest buildings in downtown Durham (which isn't saying a WHOLE lot), and are moving into the next tallest one in a few months. I am personally not a fan, but in the upcoming office we'll apparently be able to go on the roof and watch Durham Bulls baseball games, or have the game as a backdrop for hanging out after work, so I am definitely looking forward to that.


[[As I wrote in the intro this issue, I’m still having issues but they’ve lessened quite a bit.  It takes plenty of self-calming talk, or distraction by in-depth tasks.  As it happens the room that I sit in is at the very corner of the building (windows on two sides), which I think worsens my vertigo a bit versus the rest of the office.]]


Brad Wilson: I enjoyed Andy Lischett's discussion of the Music Box Theater, a place I have been to dozens of times. They have a fully functional organ, and to see a silent movie with organ accompaniment is an amazing thing.


I first went in the spring of 1984 when I was exploring Chicago and fell in love immediately.


In the fall of '84, the theatre put on a week of Hitchcock double features, seven straight nights. I scraped up the cash to get to Chicago and pay for 3 of them. What a way to be introduced to the master!! Marnie and Family Plot together -- woof. North by Northwest, on a big screen -- like the plane was flying right at you!


I have seen some clunkers there too, but ...


The place has awesome popcorn, and the highest quality projection and sound. The Christmas double bill of White Christmas and Miracle on 34th St. with a carol singalong with the organ in between is a blast.


The Music Box is everything movies should be.


[[Hitchcock classics play larger than life on the big screen.]]


Paul Milewski: As usual, you are way too hard on yourself.  You do a great job putting out ES.


[[Well, as I’ve tried to clarify, it isn’t being down on myself as much as recognizing how small the audience is for the zine these days.  At some point it gets small enough to make the effort and result not worthwhile.]]


Andy York: Yeesh on the new location for the office. Based on everything else going on with the business, looking for another opportunity certainly seems reasonable. On the other hand, it's a positive that you've been looking at the situation and taking steps the help mitigate things - moving your view and upping the meds are certainly reasonable countermeasures.


[[Now that I’m getting used to things a little better, I’m trying to slowly taper the anxiety meds back to where I was before.  And eventually, maybe six months from now, I hope to get off them altogether if possible.  Benzos really were designed to take for six months or less.  The Feds put me on them when I came home in 2006 – I was given no choice but to take them because it was in my paperwork that I had to follow all of their physical and mental health directives while on Supervised Release.  I think that’s way too long to take them, with physical dependency and withdrawal problems major consequences.]]


Thanks for the info on Half-Price. I haven't yet done a trial run, but probably will with some cull after the move.


[[I went this past Saturday and had to leave; they were short one person and the wait to have the items looked at and make an offer made was two hours.  That doesn’t usually happen lately, but this time it did.  Since I go every week, there’s no way I could kill two hours in the store unless I took a nap.]]


The Dining Dead – Eternal Sunshine Movie Reviews


Martyrs Lane (Shudder) – This is a very slow-burn atmospheric type of movie written and directed by Ruth Platt.  Leah (Kiera Thompson) is a 10-year-old, the youngest daughter of a vicar and his wife.  She begins to see, and be visited by, another young girl (Sienna Sayer) who is full of secrets.  I didn’t love this movie, but it kept me interested enough to continue watching, mostly to see exactly how it played out.  The ending wasn’t very satisfying, either.  The one aspect of the film I did enjoy was the way it simply placed in front of the viewer the mind of childhood.  Leah knows this girl is not natural, and that she alone is interacting with her, but she simply accepts it as both unreal and real; unreal in the proper world, but real in hers.  The big mystery can be pieced together by halfway through, and bits of the plot are unnecessary or make to real sense.  It’s still better than half the stuff you’ll find online, despite the faults.  That is, unless you want more activity and something with a quicker pace.


Crooked House (Netflix) – A 2017 British Television adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel.  Max Irons (son of Jeremy Irons) stars as PI Charles Hayward, hired by one-time girlfriend Sophia (Stephanie Martini) to investigate the death of her grandfather, a rich industrialist.  The cast has quite a few skilled actors, including Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Terence Stamp.  But for a film lasting nearly two hours, nobody is ever given enough material to fully develop an interesting character.  Glenn Close’s Lady Edith de Haviland is the nearest approximation, and she tries to walk the line between eccentric and upper crust British with as much gusto as she can muster.  I suppose the best way to describe this film is: it’s an adaptation of a late 40’s mystery novel, and that is exactly how it feels.  The light brush strokes given to the main characters are simply there to humanize them enough to keep the plot moving.  It’s not bad, as far as Christie movies go, but there are so many better choices available, you should spend your time watching one of them unless you are spending a quiet evening at home and want something to pass the time.


The Columnist (Shudder) – A Dutch dark comedy that attempts to make some commentary on internet trolls and social bullying.  Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) is a newspaper columnist and aspiring novelist, who finds herself overwhelmed by negative and outride cruel comments on her columns and Twitter posts.  The blatant calls for her death, rape, and torture (among other things) depress her and make writing her new book next to impossible.  That is, until she discovers that by killing one of the trolls, her writer’s block is lifted and inspiration flows freely.  I had moderate hopes for this film, and it isn’t that bad…but it’s far too slow, and not nearly as dark or over-the-top as it thinks it is.  That’s the big issue: it either needed to be more over-the-top, darker, or simply quirkier.  For me, anyway.  I also think it fell short on any attempt to make a true commentary on how damaging the hurtful internet trolls can be; an accusation that she’s being investigated as a pedophile is treated the same as any other negative post.  Perhaps if you don’t have a taste for movies like May or Welcome to the Dollhouse, which truly get quirky or dark, a milder film like The Columnist might be more to your liking.


Older Movies Watched (that I’ve seen many times) – Catch Me If You Can, Motel Hell.


Octopus's Garden

Issue One Hundred and One

6th October 2021


HELLO, good evening and welcome to Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own Railway Rivals game. It is a subzeen to Douglas Kent's Eternal Sunshine. It's produced by Peter Sullivan It's also available on the web at:


Round 9 (RR 2473 B) — "Garrett Hobart" — Railway Rivals Map "B" (Lon&Lpl)


Scores on the Doors:



































































For Round 10, you may enter 4 of the following 7 races, then build up to 8 points of physical track. Orders to me, Peter Sullivan, at by WEDNESDAY, 10th NOVEMBER 2021.

Races for Round Ten


That was Octopus's Garden #101, Startling Press production number 397.


          Not Out of the WAY #38

(aka NOOTW #01)


by W. Andrew York

(wandrew88 of




Well, this will be a brief column. Every game had at least one, if not more, regular players that were unable to make the early deadline necessitated by my move the first week of October. So, all deadlines will slide to the November issue with the new deadline listed below. I’d hoped to be able to move at least some of the games along, but it wasn’t to be.

Any submitted orders will be retained, so no need to send again. However, if you wish to revise any already submitted, feel free to do so. All I request is that you mark it as “Revised” or “Updated” orders to save me from trying to determine which set is the current set. As everybody knows, moving can be chaotic, so anything you can do to help me in the weeks afterwards while I’m settling in would be much appreciated.

If you want to verify that I have a set of orders on file, ask away. However, please wait until after my move window and a couple days to get things in somewhat order in the new place. So, say after the 18th of October, if you don’t mind.

Regarding the move, things are looking a bit trickier. One friend that was supposed to be here the entire time (a stalwart of previous moves) will be unable to come down due to urgent family issues. The other two folks who are (hopefully won’t become were) going to help the first weekend to move the furniture, heavy boxes and bulky items are looking at a Saturday with 70% rain chances and 30% on Sunday. Not the best time to be moving things.

The rest I’ll ant over during the remaining days. Basically, since the new place is just around the corner, I can easily empty a kitchen cabinet into a crate. Then, tote the crate over and unload back into the new cabinet. On one hand, it makes things easier (no packing dishes into boxes with newspapers then having to unpack and wash every item). On the other hand there is a limit to how much pre-prep you can accomplish (besides tossing things that I won’t keep). Plus, without the extra set of hands, it’ll be that much more to move. I do have a back-up plan, if needed, to finish things up.

On the baseball front, the Express ended up tied for 2nd in AAA West, East Division with Oklahoma (Dodgers). Sugarland (Astros) won the division, but Tacoma (Seattle) had the overall best record in AAA West. In the post-season, they are half way through the two 5-game series with a 3-2 record, having bested Tacoma. There are teams that are undefeated, Nashville (Brewers) and Durham (Rays), and we’re playing the back half against Sugarland so the odds aren’t good that they’ll make the top tier.

The trip to the new Rangers’ Stadium went smoothly. Met up with my friends from West Texas at the hotel, then walked over to Globe Life. The vibe from the outside is much different from the other park (which they left standing, being used for a high school football game that night, or was it a band competition?).

                The interior seems much more sterile/institutional and less like the local ballpark. However, I think that is partly due to the newness of the location – it needs to be worn in and have the edges softened to become more friendly. The other thing that really conveyed the institutional nature was the sameness of the limited food offerings. The Mexican stand had hot dogs and nachos, besides drinks/prepacked items. Only a few places, one or two each, had variations on the main themes (sausages, “signature” dishes, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). On the other hand, I only had a good look at the main level of offerings. There were a number of other levels which might have given me a different impression.

                The seats we were in were field level, in right field (Section 125, Row 2 if anyone wants to check the seating map). Good views, a foul ball hit nearby to the right. Definitely a good trip and the Rangers actually won (I think the only one in the series, good close game). I look forward to future trips and seeing how the park mellows and morphs into a true ballpark destination.

                That about covers my highlights for this time. There are some LOCs below and, besides the next deadline, that’s about it. Hope you all have a great Fall and enjoy some tasty treats for Halloween.





Texas Talk


                ANN RICHARDS QUOTE #7        


                                “I get a lot of cracks about my hair, mostly from men who don’t have any.”


Sources: Banner on Congress Avenue, Austin TX;



Letter Column

(always welcome, send them in!)

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


[Mark Nelson] – Since I last Emailed you I’ve bought an additional book in the “edible” series: Lobster, I know have eleven

                                titles in the series (?) and this is easily the least interesting! I did earn some interesting things that I didn’t

                                know, but it turns out that Lobsters are just not that interesting! [WAY] – but they sure are tasty!

                [MN] - I mentioned previously that as a consequence of the lockdown I was able to watch nearly all the episodes of ST:

                                Voyager. After this finished the station decided to show ST: Enterprise. I’d caught a few episodes of season

                                one when it was originally broadcast in Australia, about twenty years ago, so I was looking forward to

                                watching it. For some reason the broadcaster decided to show season four. Overall I was impressed by the

                                show. I didn’t care for the first episode, which was the final episode of the season three arc since it involved

                                time travel and is therefore worthless! And the final episode was strangely lackadaisical. It’s been quite some

                                time since they were aired so I’ve forgotten the details of precise episodes…. But my impression was that there

                                were some good episodes and they built the narrative towards the final episode in a convincing way. Based on

                                what I saw it’s a shame that the show was cancelled. [WAY] – I have vague memories of the show and

                liking it, but yes it has many episodes with time travel and a temporal agents. I’ll have to pick up the DVDs at

                some point to watch again (but there’s many shows that I have similar feelings about].

                [MN] - After season 4 finished the channel decided that they had better broadcast season three of Enterprise…

                                unfortunately they didn’t quite finish it before they decided to switch to another show! (They missed the final

                                episode). As the whole arc is based upon the premise of time travel, well you can guess what I thought about it!

                [MN] - The broadcaster decided that they’d shown enough of the ST franchise (they were showing an episode from one

                                show at 4:30-5:30pm and an episode from a different show at 5:30-6:30pm). In the earlier slot they were going

                                through ST:TNG from season one. I wasn’t paying too much attention to this as I couldn’t really justify taking

                                the time off work… but wasn’t entirely surprised to learn that were some season two episodes I had not seen.

                [MN] - They were somewhere in season three when it was taken off the air, I know that they had broadcast “Who

                                Watches the Watchers” because that’s one of my favourite episodes so I took time off work to watch it. My

                                memory of the long ago days when I used to watch ST:TNG religiously and then rate the seasons is that I rated

                                Season Three very highly. I seem to recall that there were a good number of better episodes and very few poor

                                episodes. [WAY] – You have a much better memory of individual seasons than I do, though I do remember

                                episodes that I liked and usually can recognize what the episode was by watching the teaser. But, it has been a

                                LONG time since I’ve watched more than the isolated one here or there.


[Kevin Wilson] – I was reviewing the zine and saw Heath’s comment on a map. I made my own in Powerpoint. The base

                                version of it is attached. You need to know a little bit about Powerpoint but nothing fancy. Mainly copy/paste

                                and how to change the color of a shape if you want to have the map reflect control. All fairly easy Powerpoint

                                features unless you know nothing about the app.

                I’ve found it useful because I can keep it on my computer/in the cloud to access anytime, I can move things around to

                                see what the map could look like and I can add/delete units easily to sandbox things.

                No pride of ownership so feel free to use, share, toss as desired. [WAY] – thanks for providing that file and for allowing

                                other folks to use it. If any of the readership wishes a copy they can either contact me or Kevin for a copy. I did

                                briefly pull it up and it seems any learning curve is short, if even needed.





Deadline for the Next Issue of Out of the WAY:


November 10, 2021 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


Acquire – “Blind”



Kevin Wilson –; John David Galt; Mark Firth –; Andy; Tom Howell –


End Game Comments


Kevin – First, congrats to Mark for a convincing win (and to Andy and Tom for getting close).  Second, thanks to Doug for running the game.


It’s been a long time since I played Acquire.  I really need to get it out more, it’s a classic and still fun.  But, being the first play in a while and not face-to-face to boot, I was rusty starting and didn’t fully clue in to the need for conditional orders until too late.  I think I closed the game a bit from earlier in the game but just ran out of stock and time.  May have been a little different had I brushed off the rust earlier but probably not.  Still, a fun play and one to perhaps try again in this format to see if the rust stays off.


John - Playing this without separate turns is always a weird experience, not very similar to playing it face-to-face.  I'd do it again, but I lean more toward suggesting it for PBEM, say on BoardGameGeek.

Diplomacy, “Indestructible Machine”, 2020A, W 09/S 10

Austria: Rick Davis – - Remove A Bulgaria.. F Albania - Greece (*Fails*),

 A Serbia Supports F Albania - Greece (*Cut*), A Trieste Supports A Serbia.

France: John David Galt - F Rome – Naples, A Venice Supports A Trieste.

Germany: Andy Lischettandy@lischett.comBuild A Berlin, F Kiel..A Berlin – Kiel,

 A Budapest Supports A Tyrolia – Vienna, A Gascony Hold, F Kiel - Helgoland Bight,

 F London Supports F North Sea – Yorkshire, A Marseilles – Piedmont, A Munich – Tyrolia, F North Sea – Yorkshire,

 F Norwegian Sea - North Atlantic Ocean, A Silesia Hold, A Spain – Marseilles, A Tyrolia - Vienna.

Italy: Toby Harris - Remove A Piedmont, A Tuscany, F Apulia..

 F Yorkshire Hold (*Disbanded*).

Russia: Bob Durf – playdiplomacymoderator@gmail.comF Clyde Supports A Edinburgh,

 A Edinburgh Unordered, A Galicia Supports A Budapest, A Moscow – Sevastopol, A Norway Unordered,

 F Portugal - Spain(sc), A Rumania - Serbia (*Fails*), F Sevastopol - Black Sea,

 A St Petersburg Supports A Norway, A Warsaw Supports A Galicia.

Turkey: Jack McHugh -  Disband F Trieste..Build A Moscow, A St Petersburg..

 F Aegean Sea Supports A Constantinople – Bulgaria, A Constantinople – Bulgaria,

 F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea, F Greece Supports F Eastern Mediterranean - Ionian Sea (*Cut*).


Now Proposed – G/I/R.  Please vote.  NVR=No




Italy – England: “Ha, you beat me to it. Remind me never to play Diplomacy with France & Turkey again”.


Avignon to Rome: You're not the Pope!  I am!


Tunis to Constantinople: "Always look on the bright side of life!"


Constantinople Palace of his all Wonderful Sultan:


"Damn I sit a military and strategic genius who never NMRs and I can't a reply from Tsar Bob--a man who uses the Polish and not the Russian spelling of his own title. He slanders me in his press but I must control my temper and work with his all powerful NMRness....


"Send this off at once to our ambassador in Saint Petersburg: "Approach Tsar Bob at wants and arrange a summit meeting in Saint Petersburg so that we can iron our differences. Also want to score tickets to latest shows playing in St. Petersburg...would like to see "Miss Saigon" and "Rent"."


Deadline for F 10 is November 13th at 7am My Time

Diplomacy, “Wine Lips”, 2020B, W 06/S 07


Austria: Harold Reynolds –  - Build waived..A Bohemia – Munich,

 A Budapest Supports A Serbia, F Bulgaria(sc) Hold, A Holland Supports A Ruhr – Belgium,

 A Kiel Supports A Holland (*Cut*), A Munich – Ruhr, A Ruhr – Belgium, A Serbia Supports F Bulgaria(sc),

 A Vienna - Bohemia.

England: David Cohen – zendip18@optonline.netRemove A Picardy, F English Channel..F North Sea Hold.

France: David Burgess – burgesscd@roadrunner.comF Edinburgh - North Sea (*Bounce*), F Wales – London,

 A Yorkshire Supports F Wales - London.

Germany: Mark Firth – - Retreat F Denmark - Baltic Sea..Remove A Belgium..

 F Baltic Sea - Kiel (*Fails*).

Italy: George Atkins - GeorgeWrites@outlook.comBuild waived..F Apulia Hold,

 F Brest Supports F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - English Channel, A Gascony Unordered, A Greece Hold,

 F Ionian Sea Supports A Greece, F Mid-Atlantic Ocean - English Channel, A Piedmont Hold, A Spain Hold,

 F Western Mediterranean - Mid-Atlantic Ocean, A Picardy Supports A Burgundy – Paris (No Such Unit).

Russia: Heath Davis-Gardner – heathdavisgardner@gmail.comBuild F St Petersburg(nc)..A Burgundy – Paris,

 F Denmark - North Sea (*Bounce*), A Norway – Finland, A Prussia – Warsaw, A Rumania Hold,

 F St Petersburg(nc) – Norway, A Sweden Supports F St Petersburg(nc) – Norway, A Ukraine Supports A Rumania,

 A Warsaw - Moscow.


All Draw Proposals Fail

Now Proposed – DIAS, A/I/R.  Please vote.  NVR=No.

Please remember, perpetual votes and perpetual proposals are NOT allowed.






Moscow (AP) -- Russian military maneuvers were conducted today to the shock of the nation and the world. When reached for comment, Sid C. Czar, Czar of your Russia of Russias, said that "we got bored" and "these moves don't really mean anything to us, sadly." When pressed further, Sid C. said, "Look, would I like to backstab my allies? Sure. We all want the glory, we all want to win the game. But there are a billion red armies out there, and I'm not talking about Bolsheviks. Frankly, I'm scared of Otto. Why else would I have helped him take not only all of Germany, but the Lowlands too? I was practically salivating over that territory becoming Russian one day, but the guy started reading me a very threatening limerick and I realized I was stuck helping him. That man can really write a limerick." Sid C. then finished his monologue and walked over to the panel desk, from which he introduced his guest George Harrison before realizing he isn't born yet.


Slightly tattier holiday brochure in a pile of leaves near a park bench, Kiel: Neue Ostsee-Segeltörns offers delightful cruises around the Baltic coastline. Relax as the fresh sea breeze drifts over you (not dissimilar to a horde of uninvited Austrians in your home town).


France to Paris – Our military, using several confiscated English Dirigibles, has air dropped as much supplies as we could to our besieged kin folk.  Hang in there and keep up the fight.


France to board….Wouldn’t it be sweet if Russia could take Belgium and I could take London…then the SC count could be 10-10-10-4... At this point, is seems the most fair way to end this game?


Paris Paper headline: French forces rolled into the heart of London today.  Resistance forces were minimal.  Just a few militia hold outs in the countryside.  What little military left took King Edward VII and snuck out of town at midnight on a ship bound for Greenland.  He was overheard saying as he boarded the ship.  “Dumb ass military leaders…why did I listen to them”


France to England:  Looking back…as upsetting as my Spring 1902 NMR was…it probably saved me from elimination.  I built a fleet in MAR in 1901…I was in SPA(sc)…If I had submitted moves, I would have moved farther on my advancement towards Italy.  What the hell else did you need as a commitment to know that I was moving into the med and not attacking you???  Russia was in Armenia and Black.  He was at war with Turkey.  He was not in a place to defend the north and STP.  You were poised to roll in the north.  All I asked you to do was MOVE that Fleet out of Wales and you wouldn’t do it.  There was absolutely no reason for that unit to be there other than to attack me.  You would have had the same protection if it sat in London.  You could see I was SO over extended and was NO threat to you.  You forced me to retreat back and move to the channel.  Looking back that silly little fleet was the cause of your demise.  I can’t tell what you were thinking at the time.  But, if I were a betting man…I would bet that you were planning on moving to ECH is Spring 1903 when I was a little more out of position.  If I was going to attack you why would I ever build F-MAR and moved to SPA(sc)?  What idiot move that would be to piss off Italy with my 1901 opening and then move to stab England by moving to the channel in 1902?  If you didn’t keep that fleet there, you and I would probably be looking at a 3 or 4 way draw including both of us instead of what happened…


Deadline for F 07 is November 13th at 7am My Time


Balkan Wars VI, “Bad Way to Go”, 2020Apb08, End Game


Bulgaria (Jack McHugh): I tried to play a very aggressive Bulgaria as Balkan Wars doesn't reward conservative play.  Plus being a "center" power with one extra dot one needs to grow Bulgaria or you're soon being swallowed up by surrounding powers.


Mark's Albania, Andy's Serbia and I formed a Triple alliance almost immediately as we were the people writing to each other the most. among all the players.


Although in reality my two most practical allies were Mark's Albania and Brad's Rumania. Since Brad and I talk outside of the pretty much every week we were in constant communication over direct messages as well as in face to face discussions.


The biggest problem was what to do about Heath's Turkey. Turkey's position is such that it really is a strategic deadend, much like the Ottoman player in regular Diplomacy, and no one besides Bulgaria  and Greece start out near Turkey. 


I wasn't really interested in working with Greece because Mark was much more active than Kevin in writing back. Also once the campaign started Mark and I were working really well together and firing on all cylinders so I wasn't interested in disrupting our alliance.


I tried to negotiate with Heath but our negotiations were hampered by a basic distrust. I thought my building armies would assuage any feelings of insecurity and prove my bona fides with Heath since without fleets it's difficult  for Bulgaria to attack Turkey.


Well I can tell you the latter is true but the former didn't happen I also counted on more help from Brad's Rumania but he got bogged down by Andy's threatening Romania's western border so no help there.


Basically I never did solve the issue of whatever shall we do about Heath?


Andy's super stab in 1913 completely changed the game as Andy picked up four centers and went from six to ten centers and took Brad down to one. At that point it was simply a race to keep Andy from winning.


Heath and I were able to form a working alliance that was dominated by the need to keep Serbia from winning the game out right. Thanks to Mark for supporting the alliance and encouraging both of us to work together.


Ultimately we were able to forge a working relationship among the remaining three players to force a draw with Andy's Serbia


One of the more enjoyable pbem games I have ever played. I'd give five stars and would recommend it to a friend or even an enemy.


Serbia (Andy York): Well, after a strong start with a strong alliance with Albania. I think we could have had a quick run of the board for a two-way draw. However, I'm not a strong negotiator and he was able to be swayed to switching sides. From then on, it was me trying to avoid too much damage as a punching bag. Eventually, the few chances I had to gain an edge dwindled and it was time to end it. Thanks to Doug for running the game and the competition from the other players.


Turkey (Heath Davis-Gardner): Well, blow me down. I can't believe I somehow wound up?? in the draw?? I do not deserve a place here as I literally accomplished nothing in this game. I guess my big accomplishment was getting over my frustration with Bulgaria enough to accept a place next to him in the draw.  My plan had been to do what I could to throw the game to Serbia. I kind of thought Albania was just using me and Bul as pawns to potentially win himself, but I finally decided a chance at an undeserved draw was worth the potential humiliation of accidentally letting someone win. This decision was aided by the fact that losing to Serbia or to Albania were basically equal losses, it's just that one involved being a jerk to Bulgaria, which I wanted to do.


Bulgaria and Romania decided to attack me from the beginning here, and I lucked out in that I didn't make a huge push for island SCs at the beginning. That was because I really wanted to work with Greece. (So Bulgaria did make the right decision in attacking me, despite all my complaints - I would have gone after him otherwise.)


The thing that bugged me was that neither of them even bothered to send me messages to lie to me. It made the whole thing very boring. This variant LOOKS very exciting and dynamic, but I didn't get to experience that, really. It was just a game of turtling up and hoping for the best. And a 4-way draw on a 6-way map was genuinely the best I was ever going to do here, let's get real.


Thanks to Doug for running the game and good game to the rest of the group. Greece, I wish we had managed to actually work together, I enjoyed our brief period of conspiring. Serbia, I'm sorry I told you I was going to try to throw you the game and then decided not to. Wasn't trying to trick you or anything, not that it would have gained me a thing, really. I was a non-factor all game :(


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


Kevin Wilson:

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto on Midway Island


John David Galt:

Charlie Chaplin in Minsk, Belarus


Tom Howell:

John Fetterman in Braddock, Pennsylvania


Brad Wilson:

Emily Dickinson in Melbourne, Australia


Richard Smith:

Jaco Pastorius in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Simon Langley-Evans:

Lyndon Johnson in Lima, Peru


Andy Lischett:

Millie Helper in New Rochelle, New York


Dane Maslen:

Imran Khan in Islamabad, Pakistan


Jack McHugh:

John Wilkes Booth in Hanoi, Vietnam


Mark Firth:

Aage Bohr in Medellín, Colombia

Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

You were born after I died.  Wrong chromosome.


Turn 2


John David Galt:

Amelia Earhart in Las Vegas, Nevada


Brad Wilson:

Billie Jean King in Quebec City, Canada


Andy Lischett:

Bella Abzug in Paris, France


Simon Langley-Evans:

Charles Darwin in Port au Prince, Haiti


Richard Smith:

Carlota of Mexico (Charlotte of Belgium) in Guadalajara, Mexico


 Kevin Wilson:

Betsy Ross in Paramaribo, Suriname


David Burgess:

Olivia Newton-John in Venice, California


Dane Maslen:

Golda Meir in Tel Aviv, Israel


Tom Howell:

U.S. General Richard Arnold in Arkhangelsk, Russia


Mark Firth:

Thomas Aquinas in Singapore


Jack McHugh:

Martin Luther in Darwin, Australia


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

Correct chromosome.  Wrong occupation.  We died within a year of each other.


Turn 3


Brad Wilson:

Gertrude Stein in Baltimore, Maryland


John David Galt:

Kamala Harris in San Antonio, Texas


Richard Smith:

Lizzie Borden in Brownsville, Texas


Kevin Wilson:

Emmeline Pankhurst in Brownsville, Texas


Simon Langley-Evans:

Mamie Eisenhower is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Tom Howell:

Thérésa Tallien in Sao Paulo, Brazil


Andy Lischett:

Willa Cather in Havana, Cuba


Dane Maslen:

Martha Jefferson Randolph in Asunción, Paraguay


David Burgess:

Jim Boeheim in Syracuse, New York


Mark Firth:

Emmeline Pankhurst in Houston, Texas


Jack McHugh:

Richard Wagner in Havana, Cuba


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

We each entertained people, in our individual ways.


Turn 4


Brad Wilson:

Bessie Smith in Miami, Florida


Richard Smith:

Isadora Duncan in Austin, Texas


Dane Maslen:

Marie Bonfanti in Guatemala City, Guatemala


Simon Langley-Evans:

Sara Bernhardt is in Dover, Delaware


Andy Lischett:

Isadora Duncan in Merida, Mexico



John David Galt:

Tina Turner in Port-au-Prince, Haiti


Kevin Wilson:

Bessie Coleman in Kingston, Jamaica


Mark Firth:

Lillie Langtry in Sana’a, Yemen


Tom Howell:

Louisa Alice Baker in Belmopan, Belize


Jack McHugh:

Isadora Duncan in Mexico City, Mexico


David Burgess:

Mati Hari in El Paso, TX


Hint to Person Placed Closest to Me:

I’ve been correctly identified, but not by you.  Wrong occupation.  We died within five years of each other.


Deadline for Turn 5 is November 13th 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 10 Categories – DOUBLE POINTS! (Joker worth 2x2=4 times):


1. A U.S. state which was NOT one of the original 13.

2. A TV show centered around lawyers.

3. A day of the week.

4. A nation other than the U.S. which uses “Dollars” for their currency.

5. A zombie movie.


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

Mark Firth gets the high score of 76 this round (out of a possible 84) which gives him the win.  Bob Durf gets the low score of 12 (because he answered the prior round by mistake). 


Mark Firth WINS


Comments by Category:


A U.S. state which was NOT one of the original 13: Kevin Wilson – “Vermont, #14!  Never been but would like to visit.”


A TV show centered around lawyers: Brad Wilson – “2 is debatable because it's cops and lawyers, but close enough. Boston Legal would be my 2nd choice, or LA Law, since we're all old enough to remember it.”  Kevin Wilson – “So many legal shows.  The first I ever recall watching was LA Law but that might be too dated to draw a lot of replies.  I thought of one of the Law & Order shows but those were lawyers and police so maybe not sufficiently directed toward lawyers.  Maybe a lot of Shatner fans puts Boston Legal over the top.”  [[I was curious to see if shows like Perry Mason or Matlock got votes.  But I didn’t really think they would.]]


A day of the week: Kevin Wilson – “TGIF!”


A nation other than the U.S. which uses “Dollars” for their currency: Kevin Wilson – “Not too many other countries that use the dollar with the biggies being Canada, Australia and New Zealand so I went with the neighbor to the north.”  [[Wonder if this category will make an appearance in BAPD?]]


A zombie movie: Kevin Wilson – “And, again, too many zombie movies to choose from.  Were it a zombie TV show it would be easy, Walking Dead, but movies, well…  I thought about going with the one that kicked off the genre or the one that’s considered the best but I liked World War Z.  I thought about Zombieland too as one of the few comedic takes.  We’ll see.”  Andy Lischett – “I haven't seen a good zombie movie (new or old) for a while. Probably some will show up on TV around Halloween.”  Richard Smith – “My first thought was 28 Days Later but the "zombies" are living virus victims so it's not really a zombie flick.”


General Comments: Mark Firth – “Wasn’t sure where to go with joker at all. We’ll see what transpires.”


And with that over, now it’s time for a game of:






By Almost Popular Demand


I’ve run this game (or By Popular Demand, of which this is a variant) a number of times in Eternal Sunshine.  The rules are simple: I supply you with five categories.  You send in an answer, trying to choose the answer which will match with other people’s but NOT be the most popular.  Research IS permitted.  You get one point for each person who submitted the answer you gave, including yourself.  However, the most popular answer in every category scores ZERO.    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.  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 10 is worth double points.


Turn 1 Categories – Remember to Specify a Joker Category


1. A Star Trek (The Original Series) character.

2. A common household pet.

3. A type of wine.

4. A compass direction.

5. Something associated with Christmas.


Deadline for Turn 1 is November 13th at 7am My Time


Deadline for the next issue of Eternal Sunshine is: Saturday November 13, 2021 at 7am My Time (U.S. central time) – some games and subzines earlier