April 15, 2002

Produced by Jim Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327 USA, (401)351-0287

Accessible through Internet at burgess of; FAX to (401) 277-9904

Web Page Address:

All of our subszines (Tinamou, Deny Everything, and Houdini Blues) are now accessible via the above web page. And I think they all appear in this issue, with the possible exception of Tinamou, I'm waiting for it as I speak and wrap up last minute bits. If Tinamou is NOT enclosed, then David will send it out by E-Mail/Web in short order and it will appear in #258, with the next issue still in #259. The deadline for that next Tinamou will be May 12th. We also have Jim and Buddy Tretick doing a ``demo game'' of Air-Sea Diplomacy starting in this issue. We're trying to generate interest for a real game. Who is going to GM it, not me....

This issue's lateness is attributed to the IRS and Jay Furr, in equal proportions. David Partridge and I, in particular, were slowed by taxation issues, and then there was the vision of Jay Furr..... Jay is presently somewhere in Boston, but he has gone silent. Tonight (April 15), Mel Nicholson and I organized a get-together of Diplomacy, food, and alcoholic libation with said Mr. Furr and he STOOD US UP!!! Leaving us with six instead of seven, and forced to play ``random Italy'', with everyone submitting Italian orders with a random set selected and played. I drew France and parlayed English and German mistakes, plus the random Italian, into a French win. BUT, it still did NOT assuage the pall of Jay Furr. Jay is a famous Internet character, with his own web site at that salutes his infamousness on Usenet. In his FAQ, he answers the question: ``Does Joel spend all his time logged in, or what?'' With: ``No. Despite the insults from losers who, when losing an argument in a Usenet newsgroup, say `Hey, get out from in front of your monitor once in a while, bub!' Joel actually spends little time logged in.'' But he does spend time standing up Jim-Bob Burgess, Mel ``Pox" Nicholson, and assorted other Bostonite Diplomacy players. Since, when Mel and I drove to Doug Massey's house in Vermont, Joel showed up to say hi for all of TWO minutes and then left (admittedly when we found we had eight to play Dip and he wasn't ``needed'', but still!!!) suffice it to say I am developing a complex. And all of you bear the cost of ONE more day without seeing TAP. Send Joel E-Mail at jay of if you want to complain.... by the way, we called him repeatedly on his cell phone and I called and left a message in the hotel room where he was staying and he still did not respond or send regrets.... this makes me realize that I did NOT describe in detail EITHER the recent two board strong Diplomatic Incident held in Boston or the Vermont get-together at Doug Massey's house here in TAP... in the interest of not holding up the publication of TAP yet FURTHER, let me pass on doing so here, perhaps next time. Get out and play FTF, now!! VERY LATE update, Jay seems to be having a very painful problem with TMJ, an occupational hazard for us mouthy diplomats. Get well soon, Jay, but we'll be watchin' for a new opportunity for you to ditch us! But soft pedal those complaints if you send any.

Deadlines are still held as even, despite this being a bit late. Get yo butts in gear and get orders in!!! ;-) ;-) ;-) I did nail the choice of Maryland to win the Men's NCAA Tournament and UConn to win the Women's NCAA Tournament, a first for me! Cheer quietly. And watch for Nicole Wolff, who will become my next favorite UConn women's basketball player. Four great seniors graduate and a bunch of great players come in as replacements. I forget the other woman's name who actually is winning all the National High School Player of the Year awards, but Nicole is my favorite already. Duke lost on a free throw, just as I predicted, on the Men's side. Yay! Practice your free throws, baby....

The postal sub price is now $1.50 per issue in the US and Canada, STILL a bargain at twice the price.... but you can double that for other foreign subbers (or $3.00 per issue sent airmail). Players in current games and standbys will continue to get the issues for free, and future game starts (except for Nuclear Yuppie Evil Empire Diplomacy, which is free) cost $20.00 ($15.00 for a life of the game subscription and $5 for the NMR Insurance). NOTE: See the revised game start announcements below! When the Postal rate increase goes into effect, I'm probably going to raise that to two bucks, so get renewals in now!

Check out the connections in the Diplomatic Pouch with all of the information you need to play Diplomacy on the Internet at:

I also have taken over the Postal portion of the Pouch:

and TAP on the web is there at:

where the szine resides in html format. Presently, issues from #190 to the current issue are there, and I will be updating the back issues gradually someday. Also, check out Stephen Agar's more extensive efforts at: and

David has grabbed and reserved the HIGHLY prized name:!! David Wang's site used to be the best place to follow John Caruso's postal baseball league that I am in. BUT, the site has not been updated as well in recent times. THE place to follow the league now is DICKIE-POO Martin's website: where in the ``files'' section, ``baseball'' sub-section, you can see all of the individual and team level stats. You need to sign up as a ``member'' to see all of the files. You, too, can chat with John Caruso there, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings. My Red Sox team is looking great for next year and so I'm very excited. BUT WE ARE LOOKING FOR A FEW NEW PLAYERS!! Contact John Caruso at commishjohn of or me for more details. We have just one team left open at the moment. LATE WORD: that might be taken.... Don't be left out. Exhibition baseball play has started and then I'll get a chance to see if I really have put together a contender.

Peter Sullivan's subszine is currently ``in stasis", although all the back issues can be accessed via :

Peter was saying that he would be unlikely to be starting any new games in the Octopus until ``at least the start of 2002." He is now hearby declared to be in official indeterminate stasis and that date is now a ``whenever''. In the meantime, if anyone else fancies running some choo-choo games here in TAP, both Peter and I would be keen for someone else to try their hand. I think we really DO have Rip Gooch as the representative volunteer, more forthcoming on that.

By electronic mail, through the Internet, subs are free and can be obtained automatically by sending the message: subscribe tap

to majordomo of and messages can be sent to the entire electronic mailing list by mailing them to tap of which will forward your message to all of the people currently on the list. The message:

unsubscribe tap

sent to majordomo of gets you off the list. Please make careful note of that as well since you generally can get yourself off the list a lot easier than I can, and NOBODY likes to see unsubscribe messages sent to the entire list. A big, big thank you for David Kovar for setting this all up!!


Wake up, you pile of useless deadwood!!! STILL nothing on Tom yet. Let's go, someone find him!!! Our Tom Hurst is NOT the drummer for House of Dreams, a pithy interesting band that I checked out while doing a bit of looking for Tom, but a Google search brought me 1,340 hits, many of them regarding Tom's excellent Diplomacy writing, but unlikely to help you find him directly. Do I have to RAISE the compensation to get you all to look?

Feel free to spend the time looking for some of the backlog. Let's get Bill, Mark, Gregory, Kevin, Al, and Jerry found too!!! Note that Brenton Ver Ploeg would love to find Leslie Obata, the woman that Jerry Lucas used as his front too. This could be an easy way toward finding Jerry, though as Brenton notes, who is to say she has the same name now. This is a regular continuing feature of the szine and I will be introducing a new ``search for'' every five issues. Moreover, you can win a $25 prize for finding some previous target who went unfound in the original $50 period. That means that if Bill Quinn or Mark Berch or Gregory Stewart or Kevin Tighe or Jerry Lucas or Al Pearson is ``found'' from now on it is worth $25.

Winners will receive credit for Dip hobby activities that I will pay out as requested by the winner. Subscribe to szines here or abroad, run your own contests, publish a szine, finance a web page, GO TO A DIPLOMACY CONVENTION or whatever. Spend it all right away or use me as a bank to cover hobby activities for years. What must you do to win? Get me a letter to the editor for TAP from the person we're searching for.

This is very important, just finding them doesn't do it. They have to write me a letter. The final judge as to the winner of any contest will be the target himself and I reserve the right to investigate the winning entry. When you find someone I'm looking for, you should ask him to send me a letter for print that includes a verification of who ``found'' him.


The British representative is the editor of Mission From God, John Harrington. John may be contacted at 1 Churchbury Close, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 3UW, UK.

E-Mail: fiendish of, John.Harrington of

Please include the full name and address of the foreign publisher with your order, if possible, as well as the szine title. Make your check in US dollars out to me personally or in GBP to John if you're doing things from that end. I will conduct business for Canadians as well, if I can, but prefer to deal in US dollars with them if possible, or Canadian dollars cash. To subscribe to American szines, the system works in reverse.

We have added a European continental representative, most of this traffic likely will occur between Ronald Camstra (in the Netherlands) and John Harrington, but if anyone here in the US wants to get money into guilders or then into other continental currencies, we'll try to help you out. Ronald Camstra can be contacted at siedler of and his home address is: Wielingenplein 48, 3522 PE Utrecht, the Netherlands. But in Holland it is most common not to send checks but to transfer money by bank. Dutch people can pay directly to Postbankaccount 4652247 of Ronald Camstra in Utrecht. Since he can see the name and address of the sender in his bankreceipt, people only have to mention the name of the zine and the editorial address along with their bank order. Ronald is obviously a huge Settlers of Catan fan. If you're interested in playing that game internationally by mail, I think Ronald can help you out.

We also have reopened a branch office of the International Subscription Exchange in Australia!! Brendan Whyte, the publisher of the excellent szine Damn the Consequences will be doing the honors, taking over in some sense from John Cain, who was the Australian rep for many years. You can contact Brendan to sub to Australian szines from the US or to sub to US szines from Australia, converting Australian dollars into American ones. I think we can maneuver deals to Europe from the other reps as well. You can find Brendan Whyte at b.whyte of (same university where John Cain works!) or by mail to send checks at: Geography Dept., University of Melbourne, Vic 3010, AUSTRALIA. This should help out my Australian subbers!!

WORLDMASTERS00 SECTION (with other Tournament Info)

Worldmasters 2000 Email Diplomacy Tournament Goes ON!!

This year a large number of players went on to Round 2, before they narrowed to the Semi-Final Round of Seven games to determine who goes to the Finals. The semi-final games are finishing up now. Likely finalists include: Jack Brawner (best known as Dick Martin's childhood pal), David Wreathall, Douglas Vaughan, Erlend ``Joe'' Janbu, and Darren Koch; if I am reading things right.

Right now, many of you should be able to access Ray Setzer's newsgroup at:

news:// and look for yourself. You also may find results at this place for the Road to Rio: Kill Egg game that I have been playing in with the always interesting Egbert Ferreira. I think Egg also has a place in the finals, but I can't quite tell yet. We concluded that game with a gentleman's draw with Erlend ``Joe'' Janbu in the supply center count lead and Joe also topped the board as Russia in his semi-final game. Believe it or not, Egg and I DID ally for the last year of the game! If Joe, Jack, and Egg really are all in the finals, that will be ONE fascinating threesome!!!

DIPDOM NEWS SECTION (with letters)

Obscure and not-so-obscure ramblings on the state of the hobby and its publications, custodians, events, and individuals with no guarantee of relevance from the fertile keyboard of Jim-Bob, the E-Mail Dip world, and the rest of the postal hobby. My comments are in italics and ((double quotation marks)) like this. Bold face is used to set off each individual speaker. I should also make a note that I do edit for syntax and spelling on occasion.

The game Diplomacy is a copyrighted product owned by Hasbro and all reproductions or other use of that material in this szine is intended to be personal use and not infringe on those rights in any way. All reproductions are done at a heavy financial loss to the editor and thus are without the remotest possibility of commercial intent, except to promote THE game, the Game of Diplomacy, which you all should purchase from Hasbro or other duly licensed distributors.

In what I believe is a RECENT change, Hasbro also has been putting the rules to Diplomacy up on their web page along with rules for most of their other games. Not only that, but they have the ``current'' as well as an older version of the rules there. Stephen Agar has matched that and more with some of the even older rulebooks. Check these out if you like:

Nice of them to make BOTH of these available. And all seven different US rulebooks for Diplomacy can now be found here courtesy of Stephen Agar:

Check out the new Diplomacy World -

The new Spring issue is now out!!! For future issues, I'm also still looking for WRITERS!!! Please!!! You don't want me to turn into Larry Peery, do you?? But thanks to Larry for an article that appears in this latest issue.

If you want to subscribe in paper form at $3 per issue, North American subs should be sent to David Partridge, 15 Woodland Drive, Brookline, NH 03033, USA. Stephen Agar is handling international postal subscriptions and you can write to him at: 47 Preston Drove, Brighton, BN1 6LA, UK. Issues from Stephen will cost you 2 GBP in the UK and 3 GBP for the rest of the world. Or subscribe electronically at diplomacyworld at Yahoo Groups!

Nothing else of burning interest at the moment, but I am taking all of the Nominations for the Hobby Awards: the Don Miller Award for Meritorious Service, the Rod Walker Award for Literature, the John Koning Award for Player Performance, and the Fred Hyatt Award for GM Performance; and with the Committee's help working up a ballot. Expect to see it next issue. If you see this and IMMEDIATELY get back to me with a nomination, I am still likely to consider it.


Tell me anything you like about the year of 2000 or 2001 in music. List a top two, a top ten, or a top 100, I don't care, just tell me something!! Mine will continue NEXT issue!!! And it will continue to be a joint 2000 and 2001 issue.

Rick Desper (Sat, 6 Apr 2002 18:35:08 -0500 (EST))

Saw ``Big Trouble" last night. I enjoyed it, but I had this problem: the book was much funnier. The movie suffered a bit from having too much to try to fit in. Plus, it's very hard to see a movie after reading a book. Esp. a comedy. I would be interested to hear a review from somebody who hadn't read the book, but saw the movie. And perhaps read the book later. Maybe it's just whichever you do first?

Hmm...actually, I think it's better to see the movie first. I still enjoyed reading ``Get Shorty" after seeing the movie. The studio is trying to play up this movie as a Get Shorty-ish thing, but I don't think it's quite there. But the funniest thing about the movie is how it was supposed to be released in early October of last year, but it was delayed because it made light of airport security and included a plane hijacking. Amazing prescience on the part of Dave Barry - he also included a lot of action including a pair of FBI agents (played by Heavy D and Omar Epps in the film) acting under the authority of Special Executive Order 768-04.

Who knew, when the book was written, that Bush would have such a fetish for writing executive orders? In today's world, it is not hard at all to imagine a Special Executive Order 768-04.

Recent rentals:

AI: The problem with a movie about artificial life is that you are torn between making the robot too lifelike, in which case you have to face the criticism that you are unrealistic (best example: Data on Star Trek) or you make the robot very realistic, in which case the character can be uninteresting. Spielberg tries to walk a tightrope between the two pits, and succeeds for the first hour, when ``David" is trying to fit in with his adoptive family. Unfortunately, that's about the only part of the movie worth watching. The next hour I felt like clonking Haley Joel Osmond's character on the head. Seems like he represented not ``Artificial Intelligence" but ``Artificial Melodrama". And the ending was truly awful: the Deus ex Machina twist is beyond even the realm of sappiness which I typically expect from a Spielberg film. I really think no film could possibly have a worse ending than AI. They needed to simply clip out the last 20 minutes and pretend it never happened.

Training Day: finally saw this. Denzel's Alonzo Harris is a well-drawn character, and I definitely think he deserved his recent Oscar. However, this movie reminded me a bit of ``Scent of a Woman", where you have one excellently-drawn character stuck in a movie which cannot really support him. I was a bit disappointed to discover the big plot twist which involved Alonzo needing to raise a lot of cash to avoid getting snuffed out by the Russian mafia. I think this could have been a great film if they'd simply contended themselves with police corruption. It could have been a modern ``Touch of Evil", which leaves you wondering whether Alonzo is actually right about everything, and whether Jake Hoyt (played by Ethan Hawke) is simply a naive rookie. A little more tension there would have been good, but they simply settled upon a black-and-white ending (no racial pun intended).

TV: the best of the past season has been ``24" on Fox, though I'm starting to get a bit tired with the writing. Kiefer is very good, and the supporting cast is solid, but I'm beginning to feel like it's hurt by some very subtle sexism. Example: a female staffer of Senator Palmer, the Presidential candidate who is the target of an assassination plot, has discovered that she's been having an affair with an assassin who has been using her to get close to the Senator. She volunteers to wear a wire and plant a tracker in his wallet, but then she decides to abort this plan. Why? Because the assassin starts talking about how ``he's really falling in love with her". Well, of course, because she's a hysterical female, she goes nuts when she hears this, and decides to stab him to death. Gotta love those hysterical females. A staple of Hollywood.

I'm finding the Amazing Race to be more consistently interesting than Survivor these days. The Race has its flaws: it seems to all come down to who can make the right connections in an airport, and who has the better taxi driver. But Survivor has strayed far from what interests me: watching people survive, and instead has become a bit of a self-important morality play. Well, with the current merge, things could become interesting. Surely Rob from Boston will tell Paschal, Kathy, and Neleh that John promised him that they would vote off those three before the three original Maraamu three: Rob, Sean, and V. This week's episode will tell us if the show has any hope of being interesting. For once I'd like to see the game not be controlled at the 10-player stage by a minority of the players.

((Thanks, haven't seen Big Trouble yet, but didn't read the book, so I'll let you know if I see it what I think. Arrgh, I thought I submitted my Survivor guesses, I would have put SOME points on Gina, though I really thought their team would win Immunity. Nothing I hear or see makes me really actually want to watch the show though. But admittedly, I watch very, very little TV. I've caught a couple of minutes of 24 here and there. I'd cut them some slack on the 24 idea. They have to ``go at warp speed" to keep the whole thing in one day. Personally, the parts of the show I saw in the middle of the night were ludicrous at times (that person who visited the Senator really early in the morning at his house?? No one would do that except really close friends. Without seeing it, I'd put the ``hysterical reaction" in the same class.))

My biggest problem with the show right now is that the big selling point was that the characters had been UP ALL NIGHT! Nobody seems to be showing any signs of this whatsoever (well, except of course the vulnerable female characters). I see no bleary eyes, no baggy cheeks, nothing!

Also - I just remembered that they just had a plot twist where there was a car accident on Mulholland Drive and a major female character ended up with Amnesia. I kid you not! What next - a one-armed man kills Jack Bauer's wife and frames him?

((I think I commented extensively on AI when I first saw it in TAP. You might go back and look at those comments. I completely agree with you about that last part EXCEPT that was a crucial part of the original story. My take is that Spielberg couldn't help but cheapen the ending into stupidity, where Kubrick would NOT have. Imagine the reverse, Spielberg filming the last 20 minutes of 2001 a Space Odyssey and you'll see what I mean.))

Right - I just looked at your comments and I think I'm a bit more negative than you are. The movie really felt like it was trying to head toward a 2001- type ending. But it didn't make it.

This reminds me - I saw two previews for upcoming Disney movies. They look horrible! There's some animated flick where the quality of the animation looks like it was done in the 1950s. And there's some insipid movie involving an adopted bear. Disney is really in the crapper these days. Sigh - this retro-nostalgia thing doesn't appeal to me at all.

((If you don't have cable, and I don't, is there anything at all on TV? I still watch Jay Leno a fair amount, I enjoy his monologues. But that's pretty close to it. I liked Scrubs the first few times I saw it, but that will get old fast. But at least it feels fresh for now. But I'm usually too busy to watch anything regularly and the random moment brings no benefit from watching much. I did happen to see Andy Richter's show and ***I*** liked it, though I expect everyone else will hate it.))

Unfortunately, Andy Richter's show goes up against CSI, I think. ((Forgive me if I say I've never heard of CSI.... whatever that stands for...)) I enjoy CSI more than most shows. I don't really watch any ``Cable-only" shows except for reruns on Comedy Central. I have cable mostly so I can watch sports. And old movies.

((Lastly, didn't I send you a note prior to season start about Barry Bonds? I did to a few people. I was sure that he would have an even better season this year and WILL lead the Giants strong into the playoffs. I obviously saw nothing in Week 1 to dissuade me from that notion. The Red Sox, IMHO, will be fine, they won't beat the Yankees but likely WILL take the Wild Card with 90-95 wins. Their division just stinks TOO badly and the West is just TOO strong top to bottom. Here's my official picks..... Oakland in the AL West (sorry, Seattle, but Oakland beats you out and Texas and Anaheim will be tough enough to give you lots of losses), Cleveland in the AL Central (sorry, Minnesota, but just a bit resource short), and the Yankees in the AL East, with the Red Sox as the Wild Card. In the NL, my Giants will streak! And St. Louis will win the Central, Atlanta the East. The Mets will NOT make the playoffs, and I think Houston will edge out the two pitchers and days of rain Arizona Diamondbacks for the Wild Card!! Giants into the World Series against.... well probably the Yankees. Giants win to give Barry Bonds the World Series title that he REALLY wants. Red Sox wait 'til next year again.))

You said the Giants would be hot, but nothing about Bonds in particular. I cannot figure out what the story is with him. Why is he peaking as a slugger after the age of 36? If only Jim Rice had done the same. :(

((I think that he is following in McGwire's footsteps on that. They get older and smarter and then work out enough so they also are EVEN stronger. Jim Rice got weaker and slower and had bad eyes....))

Baseball is so corrupt it's hard for me to watch. Forbes (or was it Fortune) just posted an article which basically called the owners big liars about how much money they were earning, and said that many more of them were making money than they wanted to let out. I see MLB as an institution which is in a state of decay which will not end anytime soon.

Rick, desper of

((I don't really care, I try to ignore it as much as I can.... whoops, here's Goz for more on that...))

Warren Goesle (Mon, 01 Apr 2002 22:31:17)

Jim-Bob, When did MLB start commencing on Sunday? ((To be honest, don't recall...)) Not much new since last year. A little tweaking here and there, but still no revenue sharing plan. So I pick the Yankees to win it all. Again. As for other items...

American League: Yankees, Indians, Mariners. Wild card may go to the White Sox this year, but look for Texas to actually play up to their salaries. Toronto may also challenge. Boston, now that Duquette is gone, is finally healing. Look for them to challenge by the next century.

National League: Mets, Astros, Dodgers. Look for the Braves to be better than last year, but only make the wild card behind a much improved Shea bunch. Arizona figbts for the West, but falls short when the actuarial tables catch up with them. The Cubs and Cardinals may steal a weak Central, but I'll pick Houston to win it now that they're clear of Enron.

Yankees over Mets in the WS.

Goz, gozcorp of

Mike Barno (Tue, 26 Mar 2002 09:32:54 -0500)

Well, our so-called Major League Soccer got its season off to a great start: at least two ``own goals" on the first day of play!

((Excuse me, what is this ``soccer".... the own goals I read about occurred in football. Was this the sport to which you were referring??))

Uh, if they called it ``Major League Football" they would have confusion and maybe legal hassles. Had these events occurred in ``football" **by the standards prevailing in the geographical and chronological setting of the events**, they would have been ruled ``safeties", scoring two points each for the opponents instead of just one. Hell, if TV ratings and fan attendance don't pick up, they might rename it ``American Major-League Patriotic Anti-Terrorism Flag War Games USA", in which case you'll be wishing for the good old days of calling it ``soccer".

((You mean there is another kind of ``Major League Football"?? ;-) The problem with MLS, IMHO, is the lack of ``soccer only" stadia in places that value the sport enough to build such stadia. I know from having the Revolution nearby that people don't really give it much thought. About all you hear about it is local radio talk show guys making fun of the play by play call of the games.))

I'm not sure I see what advantages a ``futbol only" stadium would have, assuming that a FIFA-sized field doesn't put the edges right against the wall of a particular stadium built for other sports. The general public knows where Shea Stadium, for example, is, so they might be more likely to make a game-day decision to check a game out than if it were at a location they've never seen. Given that a large coliseum costs tens of millions of dollars, or even a nine-digit number, what elements would make a dedicated stadium so much more beneficial to justify the cost? Surely MLS can't swing those kinds of numbers, and communities are much less likely to fund a one-sport stadium than a multipurpose one with taxpayer dollars. Or could we find enough flat fields with wide upslopes on at least one side to make major-league-viable venues without spending Steinbrennerian amounts?

Mike, mbarno of

Mark D. Lew (Mon, 1 Apr 2002 21:24:05 -0800)


The best news of the day is that the Orioles got eight earned runs against Clemens while beating up on the Yankees.

A's game is on right now. Still plenty of game left, but it looks good for the A's. If this guy Park is the best starter Texas has to offer, then their pitching really does suck. A while back I heard some guy on ESPN say that the A's are the best team in the AL and the best pitching in the league, so I guess expectations are high for us this year.

I've also heard several people say that the AL West is the best division in baseball, which is no big surprise. This afternoon Art Howe said that he'll be surprised if the wild card winner comes out of our division. That seemed backward to me, because I would have thought that the best division would provide the wild card winner, but his reasoning seems to be that because there are no bad teams in the AL West, none of the teams here will be able to pad their record by beating up on the weaklings.

((And the schedule is VERY unbalanced. I think the Red Sox have 58 games or something like that against the Orioles, the Blue Jays, and the Devil Rays. I think 40 wins amongst those is VERY doable and sets up for a great record.))

My least favorite A now is our rookie 1B Peña. The media folks are saying he's popular for his cheerful and positive attitude, but it's not working for me. Eric Byrnes is another guy who is flowing over with youthful enthusiasm, but Byrnes is cool, whereas Peña just sounds like a goody-goody kiss-ass. This impression of mine comes almost entirely from Peña's ``diary" on the A's website. One of the print journalists got the clever idea of having one of the players giving a regular interview to be transcribed every day, and Peña was the choice. Presumably there are other players who would sound just as stupid if I had a chance to read their thoughts day after day.

On the other hand, I do like our other 1B, former Red Sox catcher Scott Hatteberg. I would have predicted Hatteberg would be the opening-day starter, but Dye's injury made the question moot. With Dye in the game, either (Jeremy) Giambi or Justice ends up as DH. With Dye out (last year's injury still not quite healed), they both end up in the outfield, leaving the DH spot empty. Since Hatteberg has a hot bat but isn't so great on defense, the obvious thing is to make him the DH (batting 3rd) and let Peña play 1B (batting 9th).

As a batter, Hatteberg is a good fit for our team. The A's are pretty strongly committed to a general philosophy of patience at the plate, consistently going deep into the count and getting lots of bases on balls. The main reason Billy Beane made a point of getting Hatteberg, and pushed the idea of converting him to 1B, is because he likes him as a hitter. Hatteberg's natural style is to be patient, just like the A's like it.

((I could have told you that was a great deal, I've been telling John Caruso that all winter. Hatteberg had no role left in Boston, but he fits your team well.))

Part of what makes the strategy work is that all the hitters play that way, so any newcomer to the team is strongly encouraged to adjust. For some it works fine; for others it doesn't. Dye used to be a more aggressive hitter, but he changed his style and was perfectly comfortable with it after about a week or two. On the other hand, I believe one of the reasons Johnny Damon's batting average was so low for most of last season is that he works better as an aggressive hitter. One of Damon's motivations for leaving the team and going elsewhere is that he wants to be aggressive with the bat again.

((And, in Boston, he'll get that encouragement, look at Nomar!!!))

It will be interesting to see who gets bumped when Dye comes back, both from the starting lineup and from the team on the whole. I think there's a good chance we could end up with the curious phenomenon of a DH hitting lead-off. There's already been some talk about Jeremy as our lead-off hitter, since he's not particularly fast. The problem is, we really don't have a speed guy who hits well enough to be in the starting lineup. Giambi is not a great runner, but he has an excellent on-base percentage (in both respects, like his brother but not quite as much). Part of what the A's want in a lead-off hitter (and in the 2 spot, too) is someone who will take several pitches so that everyone else can get a good look. Jeremy does that, even though he doesn't run well - which makes him sort of the opposite of Damon.

Our one speed guy is Eric Byrnes. He's our 6th outfielder (or 5th, with Dye gone), and our best guy for a pinch-running situation. He was the last one sent down to AAA for the final cut. He would have been on the team if we had 14 position players, but Howe decided to go with 12 pitchers for the beginning of the season.

We've got three decent LH relievers right now. It was widely assumed (including by me) that one of them would be traded by now, but apparently the other teams are on to the A's strategy. They're all figuring that the A's need to unload one, so they're looking to get him at a discount. The A's aren't willing to trade away someone whose current market price is lower than his actual value, so we're going to hold on to all three of them for now, figuring that (1) one might get hurt, in which case we want the other two, or (2) some time down the road someone is going to really need a LHP, at which point they might make a better offer.

((You also have better left handed starters than anyone else. When even Darren Oliver can beat the Yankees.... the A's are still THE best bet to get to the World Series ahead of the Bronx Bombers.))

At 2B, Howe has been saying for weeks now that he's going to play both Randy Velarde and Frank Menechino frequently, without choosing one as the first-stringer over the other. Velarde was the starter for the opening game, but in his first at-bat he got hit hard by a pitch which bounced off his shoulder and onto his hand. He stayed in to run, but when the A's went back on to the field he was replaced by Frankie. The early word is that the injury isn't serious but it'll take a day or two before he's back up to 100%. Frankie proceeded to get two hits on his first two at-bats.

The whole scenario plays really well for Howe in terms of 2B question, since it makes both of them look good while at the same time emphasizing the need to have two starting players on the team.

One of the reasons they like Velarde at 2B, but which isn't mentioned in the media very often, is that Tejada (SS) seems to play better when Randy is on the field. Tejada played poorly in the field early last season, and many thought that losing Velarde had something to do with that. Randy was here when Tejada was a rookie, and was sort of a mentor to him. I think it also helps that Velarde speaks Spanish, which Menechino does not. (And neither does Chavez, notwithstanding his Hispanic name.) Tejada's English is decent now, but I think he's happier in the field when he has someone with whom he can chatter in Spanish.

mdl, markdlew of

Steve Langley (Sun, 24 Mar 2002 18:18:39 EST)

``Blade II" - a movie

Good solid action special effects `B' movie.

Wesley Snipes comes back playing the cool black vampire hunter. The story is short on logic but long on action, and action is what it is all about in a Blade flic.

Vampires have raised Blade to a sort of `Boogy-man' level. They sit around and tell each other `Blade' strories to scare each other in the day. Blade is half vampire half human. He has all their strengths and none of their weaknesses. He is `the day walker'.

Then the story descend into pseudo science and things get very fuzzy. Vampires are infected by the bite of a vampire which passes a virus that takes 72 hours to convert a human to a vampire. Some vampires are born from vampire parents and are considered to be full bloods. Blade is a half blood. But, if the whole thing comes down to a virus infection, then what is his secret?

Along comes a genetic mutation in the virus and we get Reapers. Super Vampires who prey on vampires the way vampires prey on humans. Right down to the infection by bite that converts the vampires to reapers. Reapers can't be killed like vampires, except for daylight. Blade still has the day walker monopoly.

So, the remaining vampires come to Blade to help them fight off the Reapers. Turns out nothing is quite as it seems, except for Blade who is still the baddest guy on the block.

There is almost a love story between Blade and the girl Vampire who has trained her whole life to kill him. Sex appeal crosses all barriers.

Steve, Steflan of

Steve Langley (Sun, 14 Apr 2002 21:33:46 EDT)

``Changing Lanes" - a movie

This the story of two men, `Doyle Gibson' (Samuel L. Jackson) is a reforming alcoholic whose marriage is over. He is trying to preserve his relationship with his sons by buying their mother a house near to him so she won't take them across the continent. `Gavin Banek' (Ben Affleck) is a New York attorney on his way to file some papers which will allow his law firm to legally loot a 100 million dollar trust

They are brought together while both are rushing to the same court house. A fender bender accident, flattening one of Doyle's tires and causing Gavin to drop the papers is their point of contact. Gavin is in too much of a hurry to stay to chat. Doyle gets the important file but loses the time he needs to present his custody plan at court. His ex-wife is awarded full custody and the right to take the boys across the country.

The movie is about the battle between these two. Both are subject to giving into baser nature. They would rather fight than reason.

They take turns doing each other bad turns. Occasionally one or the other will have a momentary turn towards sanity, only to be swept up by the latest escalation from the other.

Jackson is outstanding as the erratic Doyle Gibson. His wife left him because he had no control over his temper and she feared for her boys. He really tries to overcome his weakness, and he repeatedly sets himself up to fail. Affleck is even better as the shallow Banek, in it for the big quick buck lawyer, who starts to discover a conscience.

Very good supporting cast.

Great movie. Thought provoking.

Steve, Steflan of

Steve Langley (Sun, 14 Apr 2002 21:13:30 EDT)

``Frailty" - a movie

This is a psychological thriller. I went in expecting some sort of horror venue. After all, the name Stephen King is dropped in the ads. Considering that the story is about two generations of serial killers, there was very little actual gore. Still, this is not a movie you want to try to explain to your kids.

Bill Paxton directed and played the father. Matthew McConaughey plays the narrator and adult version of one of the two brothers. Most of the story takes place when the boys were 7 and 12 (or so) and their father was visited by an angel from God. As dad explained it, the three of them had been picked by God to seek out and destroy demons who were disguised as humans. They were `god's hands' in the war against evil.

The older boy, Fenton had reservations. The younger boy, Adam, immediately bought into the whole idea. It was like they were super heroes. And, they were doing god's will. How much better can it get?

Twenty some years later, the FBI are searching for a brand new serial killer who has labeled himself 'hands of God.' Powers Booth plays Special Agent Wesley Doyle, the man leading the investigation. McConaughey comes to him late at night to tell him that his brother was the killer. His brother is dead now. There were more demons in the world than he could face so he ended up taking his own life.

Booth is more than a little skeptical at first but as McConaughey tells the story of how his father took the boys with him on demon hunts, and how they buried the demons' remains in an old rose garden, and how the older boy tried to rebel but was starved into submission, Booth starts to believe.

Very well acted by all. Paxton is excellent as the loving father who tries to teach his boys the difference between right and wrong. His version of right and wrong, with demon slaying as part of right. The two child actors were totally convincing.

Really good movie. Thought provoking.

Steve, Steflan of

((Weird, very weird.... I'm going to try to get out to see this one! I noted that you missed ``Death to Smoochy'' which got heavily panned, but I thought was far better than advertised. Edward Norton and Robin Williams do some ``out of character'' stuff for the most part very well. This was one of those movies where people were consciously un-typecast. Costumes and production values were sensational and the story wasn't too intrusive in its wackiness. The Irish mob (all unknown actors) was worth the price of admission all by itself though..... neato movie, not deep, not thought provoking, but highly entertaining.))

Steve Langley (Sun, 7 Apr 2002 16:55:16 EDT)

``High Crimes" - a movie

Jeffery Deaver, the author of ``The Bone Collector" constructs his stories using the famed onion model. You start out on the outside and bit by bit you peel away layers, discovering more and more, until you get to the heart and understand it all, then Deaver reveals one last layer that you never expected, the true heart that is different from all you had concluded, but still totally consistent with the story as it was told. ``High Crimes" tries to tell a story using that model, but when you get to the center the final surprise is somewhat akin to discovering a peach pit in the center of the onion. It is a surprise ending all right, but there is no way it should have been there, not from the story that was told. Oh well....

Once again Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman team up. This time they have James Caviezel in a large supporting role. Great cast.

Despite the plot defects the acting was quite good. Once or twice in the beginning I felt that Judd was putting on expressions for the camera rather than from the character, but once the film got moving she became totally believable in the role.

The director created lots of tension through choice of camera angle and position.

Not a great movie, but one I enjoyed.

Back to Deaver, and ``The Bone Collector". I've been reading that some people are disappointed that Denzel Washington won his Academy Award for playing a `bad black cop'. I think they are missing the point. Denzel played a good white cop in ``The Bone Collector". Sure, he is black, but the character he played is white. Who is to say that the character he played in ``Training Day" isn't white? Get over it people. He is a great actor who played a complex role and deserved to win the award for it. It wasn't about color.

Steve, Steflan of

((I'm glad to hear you say that. Morgan Freeman tends to do the same thing. He really isn't playing a ``black person'', he is playing a PERSON.))

Steve Langley (Sun, 31 Mar 2002 19:49:21 EST)

``Panic Room" - a movie

I will go to see Jodie Foster any time she makes it onto the big screen. Once again, it was worth the trip.

``Panic Room" is about a mother and daughter who have just moved into a house that used to belong to a very rich recluse. Part of the house includes a home invasion shelter. On the first night in their new home it is invaded and they flee to the panic room.

That's where the story starts. The developments are as much in the characters of the invaders as in the tension of two women faced with a terrifying invasion.

Everyone was excellent. There was not a false note played by any of the actors.

The camera work was innovative in that the cinematographer used computer editing techniques to allow the camera to pass through solid objects as it followed the action. If there was a flaw at all it was the camera work's cleverness which at first drew my attention away from the movie.

There is violence and gore. Hollywood is getting more realistic about that all the time.

Forest Whitaker was excellent as the burglar who fell in with violent thieves. Kristen Stewart did an outstanding job as the daughter.

I think it would be fair to say I really liked this film.

Steve, Steflan of


2000G, No Lawyers Welcome, Winter 1909

Note new Russian E mail address

Austria Bob Osuch ROsuch4082 of

Build A Budapest Has A Bohemia, F Trieste, A Rumania, A Munich, A Smyrna, A Serbia A Albania, A Greece, F Eastern Mediterranean, A Vienna, A Budapest

France Paul Rauterberg trauterberg of

Retreat A Munich - Burgundy Has F Kiel, F English Channel, A Ruhr, A Piedmont, F Mid Atlantic, F Belgium A Burgundy

Italy Jim Burgess burgess of

Has F Tyrrhenian Sea, F Ionian Sea, A Venice, F Tunis, A Portugal, F Apulia

Russia Brendan Mooney bkmooney of

Remove A Ukraine Has F North Sea, A Prussia, A Sevestopol, A Norway, A Moscow, F Baltic Sea F North Atlantic Ocean, F Irish Sea, A Denmark, A Berlin,

Spring 1910 Orders are due, March 20th

2000G, No Lawyers Welcome, Spring 1910

Austria Bob Osuch ROsuch4082 of

A BOHEMIA support A Munich, F Trieste - ALBANIA, A Rumania - BUDAPEST, A MUNICH support A Vienna - Tyrolia, A SMYRNA hold, A greece - BULGARIA A SERBIA support A Budapest - Trieste, A albania - GREECE, A VIENNA - tyrolia F Eastern Mediterranean - AEGEAN SEA, A Budapest - TRIESTE

France Paul Rauterberg trauterberg of

F Kiel - HOLLAND, F ENGLISH CHANNEL support F Belgium - North Sea A RUHR support A Burgundy - Munich, A Piedmont - TYROLIA, F mid atlantic ocean - NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN, F Belgium - NORTH SEA, A BURGUNDY - munich

Italy Jim Burgess burgess of

F Tyrrhenian Sea - IONIAN, F Ionian Sea - EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA, A VENICE support French A Piedmont - Tyrloia, F Apulia - ADRIATIC SEA, F TUNIS support F tyrrhenian sea - Ionian Sea, A PORTUGAL sup French F Mid Atlantic (Impossable)

Russia Brendan Mooney bkmooney of

F north sea (dislodged) convoy A Norway - Yorkshire, A Prussia - SILISIA, A SEVASTOPOL - ukraine, A NORWAY - yorkshire, A MOSCOW - ukraine F Baltic Sea - DENMARK, F north atlantic ocean - NORWEGIAN SEA F Irish Sea - WALES, A Denmark - KIEL, A BERLIN support A Denmark - Kiel,


Jim-Bob to Osuch: Baby needs a new car, coin came up heads for Eastern. That better work or you are going to start living the charmed life!

Summer 1910 Russian retreat due, Wednesday March 27

Fall 1910 Orders are due, Wednesday, April 17

2000G, No Lawyers Welcome, Summer 1910

Austria Bob Osuch ROsuch4082 of

Has A Bohemia, F Albania, A Budapest, A Munich, A Smyrna, A Bulgaria A Serbia, A Greece, A Vienna, F Aegean Sea, A Trieste

France Paul Rauterberg trauterberg of

Has F Holland, F English Channel, A Ruhr, A Tyrolia, F North Sea F North Atlantic Ocean, A Burgundy

Italy Jim Burgess burgess of

Has F Ionian Sea, F Eastern Mediterranean Sea, A Venice, F Adriatic Sea, F Tunis, A Portugal

Russia Brendan Mooney bkmooney of

Retreat F North Sea - London Has F London, A Silisia, A Sevastopol, A Norway, A Moscow, F Denmark, F Norwegian Sea, F Wales, A Kiel, A Berlin

Fall 1910 Orders are due, Wednesday, April 17

Winter 1909 supply center chart

Austria 11 Smyrna, Contantinople, Vienna, Budapest, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ankara, Trieste, Rumania, Munich

France 7 Brest, Paris, London, Belgium, Marseilles, Holland, Kiel

Italy 6 even Rome, Naples, Venice, Tunis, Spain, Portugal

Russia 10 Berlin, St. Petersburg, Sevastopol, Sweden, Denmark, Warsaw, Norway, Liverpool, Moscow, Edinburgh

Russ Rusnak 1551 High Ridge Parkway Westchester, Il 60154 GM 708 409-0718 RRRRRUSNAK of

Bob Osuch 19137 Midland Ave. Mokena, Il. 60448 AUSTRIA 708 478-3885 ROsuch4082 of

Bruce Linsey PO Box 234 Kinderhook, NY 12106 ENGLAND GonzoHQ of

Paul Rauterberg 3116 W. Amer. Dr. Greenfield, WI 53221 FRANCE 414-691-4264 trauterberg of

Mike Barno 634 Dawson Hill Road Spencer, NY 14883 GERMANY 607 589-4906 mpbarno of

Jim Burgess 664 Smith Street Providence, RI 02908 ITALY 401 351-0287 burgess of

Brendan Mooney bkmooney of RUSSIA


``So I called up George and he called up Jim, I said let's make a deal.

He said he'd talk to him. Gonna start a church where you can save yourself,

You can make some noise, When you've got no choice...

You told me useful things, what people think of me, I guess I should thank you.

It's true, then I agree... I'm all alone, I've got no choice,

I'm all alone, I've got no choice."

From ``Got No Choice" by the incomparable Mark Cutler, from the CD Mark Cutler and Useful Things.

If you want to submit orders, press, or letters by E-Mail, you can find me through the Internet system at ``burgess of''. If anyone has an interest in having an E-Mail address listed so people can negotiate with you by computer, just let me know. FAX orders to (401) 277-9904.

I am continuing to note cut or failed support orders with a small ``s'' instead of a capital ``S''. This will make it easier on the E-Mailed version of the szine to see what happened, since the italics don't show there. The italics DO show on the web page just fine. I have been getting complaints and suggestions for doing underlines. Underlines are really hard to do and I've become attached to italics but I am considering this as carefully as I can. I'm going to try an experiment next issue.

Standby lists:

Bruce Linsey, Mike Barno, Dick Martin, Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Glenn Petroski, Steve Emmert, Mark Kinney, Vince Lutterbie, Eric Brosius, Paul Rauterberg, Bob Acheson, Heath Gardner, Phil Reynolds, Paul Kenny, Dan Gorham, and John Schultz stand by for regular Diplomacy.

Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Phil Reynolds, Jim Sayers, and Kurt Ozog stand by for the Modern Diplomacy game.

Harold Reynolds stands by for Colonia. Help, more are needed for this game, maps are provided for free by me.... or by Harold Reynolds just ask.

Let me know if you want on or off these lists, especially OFF. Standbies get the szine for free and receive my personal thanks.


LAWYERS GAME: Steve Koehler, Stephen Agar and Steve Emmert already have signed up. We're searching for lawyers, contact me if you have any leads! We've invited Thomas Libby and Edwin Turnage but they have turned us down. Plus I'm still looking for a current address for Mark Franceschini. Official standby for the game is David Hood. HELP!!! Will this ever begin?? You lawyers are going to have to scour the depths of the sewers.... i.e. the courtrooms and law offices of the world... and find me some lawyers to play this game, before the NO lawyers game finishes!

Note that Buddy's ``sample game'' of Air Sea Diplomacy starts in this issue. I do have a copy of the rules and I will print them next issue.

John Harrington is offering to guest GM a game of Office Politics. Any interest in that?? Let me or John know! Jody McCullough is still interested, anyone else?

Also, I am going to design some postal rules for Devil Take the Hindmost, and Chris Lockheardt is pulling out of that opening too, so I need three players. Eoghan Barry is signed up. Postal rules from me will be forthcoming shortly, on my never ending to-do list. I will get them in SOON! I'm more likely to get these things started if I see some interest..... Eoghan is getting tired of waiting....

Right now, the other thing I am contemplating getting going is the Modern Diplomacy game with Wings. Rick Desper is the only one signed up for that.

Stephen Agar runs a British Diplomacy mailing list at:

and if you are interested, contact Stephen Agar at stephen of or join the Brit hobby mailing list at (aw, you guessed it, another new address):

I CAN'T FIND MY MONEY!: 2001F, Regular Diplomacy



Spring 1902

AUSTRIA (Lockheardt): a bud-RUM, a vie-TRI, a SER S a bud-rum,

a GAL-ukr, f gre-ALB.

ENGLAND (Heikkinen): f lvp-IRI, f LON S f bel-eng, f bel-ENG,

f nwg-NAO, a nwy-SWE.

FRANCE (Mitchell): a par-PIC, f BRE-eng, f por-MID, a spa-GAS,

a BUR S ITALIAN a mun.

GERMANY (Sayers): a BER S a ruh-mun, f swe-DEN, a hol-BEL, a RUH-mun.

ITALY (Méhkeri): a ven-TYO, f NAP-ion, f ION-aeg,

a MUN s FRENCH a bur-ruh (nso), a TUN h.

RUSSIA (Desper): f gob-BAL, a UKR s f sev-rum, a war-PRU, f sev-rum (d ann).

TURKEY (Miller): f SMY-aeg, f BLA S a arm-sev, a BUL S AUSTRIAN a bud-rum, a arm-SEV.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Chris Lockheardt, 47 Acton Street, Maynard, MA 01754, +1 978-897-1547

clockheardt of

ENGLAND: Allan Heikkinen, P.O. Box 372, Killara, N.S.W. 2071, AUSTRALIA

aheikkin of

FRANCE: Adam Mitchell, 19 Hollin Park Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS8 2NS, GREAT BRITAIN,

044 113 2650752 or + 01144 from US, heather.taylor of (yes, that's really his)

GERMANY: Jim Sayers, 15 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra 2025, AUSTRALIA

jimp of

ITALY: Dan Méhkeri, 24 DeQuincy Blvd, North York, Ontario, M3H 1Y5, CANADA, +1 416-631-0492

fool of

RUSSIA: Rick Desper, 319 West Side Dr., #102 Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 977-7691, rick_desper of

TURKEY: Tim Miller, 5454 South Shore Drive, Apt. 222, Chicago, IL 60615, +1 773-834-4597

btmiller of

GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, +1 401-351-0287

burgess of

Game Notes:

1) Since the only retreat is an annihilation, there isn't actually anything due for Summer except press.

2) As all of you know, Allan's postal address is vacant, but his E-Mail seems to be working. I'd like a postal update by next deadline please, Allan.


(FOOL to BOOB): How do I keep up with 48 and 72 hour games if I can't keep up with a 3-week game? Simple, I don't. I'm not playing in any. Well, there are gunboat (no-press) games, but they're a lot less time, and besides, that's not Diplomacy, right? Also, I only counted two weeks this turn.

(BOOB to FOOL): Yes, the ``three week games'' really are ``two week games'', but like this season that includes Summer seasons even where nothing actually is due.

(DESPER LESSONS): OK, here's what I've learned thus far:

a) Germany and England are both being played by two guys in Australia who apparently think ``two against the world" is a viable way to play the game

b) Tim talks to me more when he's my GM than when he's a player in the same game

c) Austria really wants to be my friend (or so he says)

d) Fool is drunk. Though he'll claim otherwise.

e) the Russian position sucks, no matter how you slice it.

(TURKEY to RUSSIA): Sorry Rick, I hope this works.

(BOOB to HAMMERED): Yeah, sure, I'm sure Rick hope it works too....

(TURKEY to the FOOL): You know, if you're going to be the court jester you might at least say something funny.

(FOOL to RICK): And when he's done looking under L-E-P, you can look under W-H-O-A-S-K-E-D-Y ...

(BOOB to TURKEY): Sorry, that was the best I could do....

(BLURBIST to THE POPE): Germany, Turkey, Russia . . . they were all whispering evil evil things about that army in Venice. Ven-Tri, Mun-Tyr . . . the stuff of nightmares. And the whispers wouldn't die! They just twined about my thoughts like a chill wind through dry branches. I had to stop them somehow! Those orders were the only way!

Well, not the only way. I am currently fashioning a Thought-Shield out of tinfoil and coat hangers. It makes my scalp bleed, but anything that lets me be a better ally to you is worth the pain.

(TIM to FOOL): Let's fight.

(FOOL to TIM): Them's fighting words!

(TURKEY to the BARON): I'll write you a real honest to God letter soon - I promise.

(BLURBIST to SULTAN): How is it possible to have thirty-two finals in one academic year?

(BOOB to BLURBIST): Chicago has this weird fascination with finals. They seem to have one for each credit, so 32 credits equals thirty-two finals....

(BLURBIST to KAISER): You see, the joke is, I say to Allan, ``What do you think of Jim's Munich contretemps?" And Allan thinks I'm talking about some weird medical problem or something! Get it? Funny, right? Right?

(BOOB to BLURBIST): I don't know about that, but I do Allan is stealing even MORE of MY money...... he better get his postal address fixed soon!


Spring's Sprung, Grass is Riz.

Don't know where my money iz.

And I can't count either!

(BLURBIST to ADAM/HEATHER): When you and the Pope are done, maybe you and I can . . .

(BELGIUM - GERMANY): Hmmm. They don't look too impressed with your Aussie alliance with Mutey, do they. And unfortunately for you, you seem to be taking most of the fire for it, while England gets off Brit-free. Oh well, that's geography. Don't complain, look at me. I start off with one center and no units, how's that for lousy geography?

(BLURBIST to KING): (points to his own mouth, then to King's ear, then shrugs and tilts his head quizzically)

(TURKEY to GM): So how'm I doin' with this press thing? When we're complete I plan to run an OLS regression on quantity of supply centers owned with variables quantity of press and quantity of beer ingested before sending move. I hope there are no multicollinearity problems with that...

(BOOB ECONOMETRIC WHIZ to PUP TENT TURKISH TRAINING CENTER): Watch it, kid... don't get cocky. Those multicollinearity problems have a way of sneaking back around and bitin' you in the butt!

(BLURBIST to ETYMOLOGISTS): When I was a junior in high school, I had the odd experience of a common phrase, somehow long hidden from me in the folds and wrinkles of my life-long discourse, suddenly revealing itself to me in a half-dozen forums in the span of a few months.

The phrase was ``sea change," and when I first stumbled upon it, I was utterly baffled to its meaning. So I looked it up, thought, ``Hmmm . . . cool word," and then placed it on the more inaccessible shelves of my vocabulary, planning to pull it down when the rare chance presented itself in order to impress friends and associates.

((Yeah, but no matter WHEN you use that word, most of the time it goes unheard and misunderstood by those to whom one communicates it - in either writing or voiced in person. Neat words that are not understood become slightly less neat.))

Then, as if I had shimmied over into an alternate universe where ``sea change" was as common an expression as ``Wicked cool," I came across the phrase practically every week in newspapers, magazines, books and billboards (well, actually, the billboards didn't show up until five or six years ago when Sea Change, Inc. opened an office in Maynard).

((Yeah, and it STILL is a misunderstood word. There isn't ANYTHING in Maynard that isn't overwrought and a bit too puffed up..... whoops, YOU'RE in Maynard, aren't you..... never mind....))

It was a strange coincidence and one that still leaves me puzzled.

I bring it up, not only to fulfill my press quota, but because a similar coincidence occurred just these past few weeks. I have long used ``The Blurbist" as my nom de web, an alter ego born during my days of writing catalogs when I was cocky still enough to equate my specialty with words to John Wayne's character's with guns in the movie ``The Shootist."

However, despite five years of conversation-starved on-liners quizzing me on the meaning and history of my ID, not until last week did anyone ask me the origin of the word ``blurb." Ashamed to admit I did not know, I quickly threw open my American Heritage Dictionary (the same one with a smiling photo of O.J. Simpson sharing a spread with the images of a silverfish, Neil Simon, the Sinai Peninsula and an example of a sine) and copied the following from the etymology listing of the word: ``Coined by Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), Amer. humorist."

``Well, what do you know?" I thought. ``Won't the Archbishop be amused that his namesake accounted for my nameplate?"

((Not a bit, not a bit.... fate, I'd say.))

And then, not more than a handful of days later, I was reading an article on the charitable practice of established authors lending their words of praise to be placed on the book jackets of new writers, despite in most cases never having read any of the books they are praising, when as an aside the author of the article explained that a jacket ``blurb" took its name from a word coined by the American humorist Gelett Burgess.

An unparalleled coincidence? No. A riveting anecdote you will not be able to keep from sharing with loved ones? No. A satisfactory fulfillment of my press quota? It will have to do.

((Gee almost time to have you arrested by the Deja Vu police....))

(BLURBIST to THE TEMP TSAR): Thank you for the answers in last year's press. Here is your completed Mad Lib:

The ICFMM Picnic

One warm summer's day, everyone from I Can't Find My Money decided to have a picnic. ``Tim, will you bring a horrendously convoluted ratings system?" Blurbist asked. [Yes], said Tim. ``Jim-Bob, will you tell us another story about how you preserved the integrity of Diplomacy by rigging or throwing an endgame?" [Yes], said Jim-Bob. ``Rick, can you invite von Neumann and Morgenstern to discuss combinatorial game theory while they serve us cheesecake naked?" [No], said Rick. ((Because we don't want von Neumann and Morgenstern ANYWHERE near our blessed game of Diplomacy.... we'll take a healthy helping of Mr. Nash, a sprinkling of Mr. Simon, and brisk seasoning by Messrs. Machiavelli and Wotton - Wotton he of the phrase ``An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country''.)) ``Fool, what will you bring?" [Apricot jam], said Fool. ``Silly Fool!" they all laughed, ``Always spouting nonsense!"

Once the blanket had been spread and the food laid out, Blurbist asked Allan what he thought of Jim's Munich contretemps. [Yes, he is a little funny looking], said Allan. Everyone's jaws dropped, so shocked were they to hear Allan speak. ``Jim, did you ever think such a thing would come from Allan's mouth?" Blurbist asked. [But no, I've never thought he had bad breath], said Jim.

Just then, the conversation was interrupted by an amorous raucous. ``My God!" Blurbist exclaimed. "Who is that smearing cheesecake all over the naked bodies of von Neumann and Morgenstern?" [Naomi Watts, of course], said Heather Taylor. ``Heather Taylor?" said Blurbist. ``Isn't your name Adam Mitchell?" [Yes], said Heather Taylor. ``Oh, I see," winked Blurbist. ``Is that why you and the Pope are so closely allied?" [Maybe], blushed Heather Taylor.

((Good, if Naomi Watts is around then everyone else is sure to clear out soon..... and we'll get down to the good stuff.))

Just then, a ravenous river of army ants [whistling ``Bridge on the River Kwai"] washed over the picnic party, stripping every last screaming tortured soul to gleaming white bone.


((But not Naomi, tell me NOT Naomi!!! The rest of them are completely expendible of course.))

SOMETHING TO BE SCARED OF: 2001D, Regular Diplomacy



Spring 1904

AUSTRIA (Kent): a bud s a vie (d r:gal,otb), a VIE S a bud.

ENGLAND (Sundstrom): f lon-NTH, f ENG S a bel, f nth-HEL, a BEL s FRENCH a mun-ruh,

f nwy-SKA, f MID-wes.

FRANCE (Tretick): f mar-GOL, a mun-ruh (d r:sil,otb), a gas-BUR,

f SPA(SC) S f mar-gol, a PAR S a gas-bur.

GERMANY (Williams): a KIE S a ruh-mun, a sil-BER, a ruh-MUN, a HOL-bel.

ITALY (McCullough): a ven-TYO, f TYH-gol, f tun-NAF, a TRI S RUSSIAN a rum-bud,

f WES s f tyh-gol.

RUSSIA (McHugh): a mos-STP, a war-PRU, f swe-DEN, a rum-BUD, a gal-BOH,

f sev-RUM.

TURKEY (Goesle): a GRE S a ser, a BUL S a ser, f aeg-ION, a SER S RUSSIAN a rum-bud,

f CON h, a ALB S ITALIAN a tri.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Doug Kent, 1404 E. Lamar Blvd #106, Arlington, TX 76011

dipworld of

ENGLAND: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882 ($5)

Matt.Sundstrom of

FRANCE: James Alan (Jim) Tretick, 13267 Coppermill Drive, Herndon, VA 20171, (703) 713-1328 ($4)

JTretickGames of

GERMANY: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (661) 297-3947 ($4)

wllmsfmly of

ITALY: Jody McCullough, 1071 Brown Avenue, Lafayette, CA 94549-3153

jodymc of

RUSSIA: Jack McHugh, P.O. Box 427, Claymont, DE 19703, (302) 792-1998

flapjack of

TURKEY: Warren Goesle, 3907 Cedar Ridge, #1B, Indianapolis, IN 46235

gozcorp of

Game Notes:

1) Note Jack's small change in his E-Mail address and Matt's larger one.

2) Looks like some neurons might have been misfiring somewhere in these orders, but I'm just the GM, I'll let all of you sort it out. Retreats only due next time.


(GOZ to EL PRESIDENTE): Last time I checked, the name was ``Diplomacy", not ``World War I". So I'm going to continue talking, and fight when I need to or have to. When will you listen? If you're not going to listen, will you at least check in with reality now and then?

(TSAR JACK-SULTAN GOZ): You're in the fire now, getting married at your advanced age. Congratulations anyway. You know I hope this means we can still be friends. When is the bachelor party and will there be police involved??

(SUNNY-GOZ): Best wishes on your impending nuptials. I can vouch for the first five years. Get it done soon-I miss the sound of your letters.

(GOZ to ASSEMBLAGE): While the wedding is over, I've got a LOT of things on my plate. I'll talk as I can. Look for a new address/email address soon.

(BOOB to GOZ AND SUNNY): Yes, Goz, let me add my best wishes as well. And I've been bugging Matt about getting his Master's thesis on the game of Diplomacy out into the light of day....

(ENGLAND WITH SOME REAL LIFE STUFF): Hi there. getting in earlier this turn. cubs home opener and a bachelor party tomorrow. I'm not sure I'll be able to type for 48 hours.

(TSAR JACK-GOZ): Now that you've gotten the first wife, drop me a note about married life, having kids, and swiping dots.

(TURKEY to GERMANY): About flippin' time you started talking. Can you hang on here?

(BOOB to GOZ): The Duck just knows how to make himself REAL essential....

(TSAR JACK-EMPEROR DUCKY): You're not the Sackiepoo Don, that's Dougie. Yes, yes, I'll pull your chestnuts out of the fire this time, but don't get used to it. I'm not very relible, ask Sackiepoo.

(TURKEY to AUSTRIA): Are you still here?

(TSAR JACK-EMPEROR SACKIE): Look just give me Bud and you can keep Vie and be my toady. I'll let you issue nasty press about the Eyeties and Towel heads. It's probably the best offer you'll get in this game.

(TSAR JACK-KING JODY): Sultan Goz hasn't written me about you yet so I think the romance is cooling but someone keeps calling and hanging up, that wouldn't be you would it?

(TURKEY to ITALY): Are you sure about this?

(TSAR JACK-PRESIDENT JIM): You know I never thought of you as the toading type-have I misread my Frenchmen???

(EDINBURGH-MOSCOW): Our apologies. Hope I get it right this time.

(TURKEY to RUSSIA): He's talking now. Any idea what he's saying?

(DATELINE COPENHAGEN): Drunken sailors take over German ferries and collide in a game of chicken gone horribly wrong! German fleet decimated. Scottish Navy jubilant.

(TSAR JACK-KING MATT): No letters or calls???? I'm starting to feel cheap and used-not that I mind that but at least you could have bought me dinner and a few small dots (or even big ones.)

(TURKEY to ENGLAND): This game is going to change in a big way. What part in that will you play?

(MATT): If there's a delay, I'll try and come up with more press. And the thesis. I've always wanted to see what the hobby thought of it (if I can retrieve it from ancient Macintosh disks).

(BOOB to MATT): Ah, yes, the ancient disks. I'm not sure I can retrieve things I have on 5 1/4 floppies any more..... don't worry, the back issues of TAP are NOT among those files.

(TSAR JACK-GM BOOB): Note I got flapjack of as my new e-mail in honor of my hobby nickname-isn't that grand????

(BOOB to FLAPJACK): Grand indeed! Let's get the griddle hot!! Let's saute up these late additions to the press....

(TSAR JACK-KING JODY): We shall see what we shall see in Munich. I've decided to send an army to see for myself, people do tend to exaggerate in this game you know.

(BOOB to TSAR JACK): Looks like your wandering army got lost on the way to Munich to me, but who am I to say??

(TSAR JACK-KING MATT): I want peace in the north-a piece for you and a piece for me! < wink, wink >

(TSAR JACK-KAISER DUCKY): I'm behind you all the way-check out my army in Boh.

(BOOB to TSAR JACK): Oh, THAT one found the way just fine.... I'm less sure about the one checking out the East Prussia and the original German homeland.

(TSAR JACK-PRESIDENT JIM): I'd fire your foreign minister, he speaks with an English accent. A French foreign minister should have an outrageous French accent.

FANTASTIC VOYAGE: 1999K, Regular Diplomacy


Summer 1908

AUSTRIA (Rauterberg): has a SER, a VEN, a VIE, a TUS, f ROM, a BUD.

ENGLAND (Biehl): has f NTH, f GOL, f TUN, f TYH, a HOL.

GERMANY (Shreve): has a SIL, a MUN, a GAL, a BOH, a TYO, a PRU, f MID, a SPA, a BUR.

ITALY (Tallman): has a POR.

RUSSIA (Tretick): has a STP, a MOS, a UKR, f WES, a WAR.

TURKEY (Acheson): has f BLA, a ARM, f ION, a APU, f NAP, a SEV, a RUM, f AEG.

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 (E-Mail)

trauterberg of

ENGLAND: John Biehl, 8809 Delwood Drive, Delta, BRITISH COLUMBIA, V4C 4A1 CANADA,

(604) 589-9124 ($8); jeen of

FRANCE: Rick Davis, 2420 West Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407, (707) 544-5201,

redavis914 of

GERMANY: Dwayne Shreve, 739 Union Church Road, Elkton, MD 21921 ($5)

dwayneshreve of

ITALY: Terry Tallman, 3805 SW Lake Flora Road, Port Orchard, WA 98367, (360) 874-0384 ($2)

terryt of

RUSSIA: Buddy Tretick, 9607 Conaty Circle, Spotsylvania, VA 22553, (540) 582-2356 (E-Mail)

bernietretick of

TURKEY: Bob Acheson, 807-556 Laurier Av., Ottawa, ONTARIO K1R 7X2, CANADA

racheson of

Game Notes:

1) Quiet summer. OK, I've been having complaints about not underlining failed orders. As an experiment, I'll try doing it here the way that it is easiest to do. You can let me know if you like it. I'll start in the fall.


(DOWN AT THE BARROOM): It was one of those quiet nights at the Doo Drop Inn. I was in my usual perch next to Shreevy and pondering the significance of life while sipping a beer. This was more than Billy the Creep was doing with his frosty mug. However, he was complaining about soap operas, so he wasn’t all wrong. He was just boring.

Shreevy jumped in at a pause and muttered loudly, ``What about that damn night time hospital soap?" There was silence.

Ya know, I think they calls it ``Days of Our ER." Mebbe its ``As the ER Turns."

Crazy Henry displayed an unusual flash of insight when he responded, ``No, I think it's `All My ERs'."

``Whatever. The old lady likes it, but me, I think its crappy how something bad is always happening to someone she likes on the show. Course it gives me a good reason to be here on Thursday nights."

``Thus, we can say that `As The ER Turns' is a good influence on people, so let's drink to that," I noted. There was general approval in the barroom ratings.

Hear. Hear.

(Sometimes I Feel Like) FLETCHER CHRISTIAN: 1999Cgh013, Colonia VIIb Diplomacy


Summer 1759
















RUSSIA (Rauterberg): R f somali sea-SOUTH INDIAN OCEAN, f north pacific ocean-EAST PACIFIC






SPAIN (Partridge): R f korea-SEA OF JAPAN; has f MANILA, f CALIFORNIA,







Supply Center Chart

AUSTRIA (Prosnitz): BUD,VIE,TRI,TAH,pps,sav, (has 19)
CHINA (Acheson): PEK,WUH,XIA,AMO,tib,NAN, (has 19)
ENGLAND (Power): NIG,EDI,LON,kam,ire,gab,sum, (has 26)
OTTOMAN (Schleinkofer): IZM,BAG,oms,jer,persia (has 4)
RUSSIA (Rauterberg): MOS,KIE,CAP,STP,CRI,pol,moz, (has 28)
SPAIN (Partridge): MAD,MEX,SOM,VAL,MANILA, (has 36)
Neutral: none (Total=136)

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: Gene Prosnitz, 2600 Netherland Ave., Apt. 1116, Riverdale, NY 10463, (718) 601-8131 ($5)

ProsnitzE of

CHINA: Bob Acheson, 807-556 Laurier Ave., Ottawa, ONTARIO K1R 7X2, CANADA ($5)

racheson of

ENGLAND: John Power, 18 Tilton Court, Baltimore, MD 21236, (410) 933-8827 ($4)

natjohn2 of or jrpower of

FRANCE: Hank Alme, 506 Paige Loop, Los Alamos, NM 87544

almehj of

OTTOMAN: Art Schleinkofer, 3120 Holly Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154-1708

Krolart of

PORTUGAL: Robert Stimmel, Apt. #57, Casa de Sherry Apts., 2462 North Sycamore Blvd.,

Tucson, AZ 85712-2541, (520) 326-8369 ($5)

RUSSIA: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 (E-Mail)

trauterberg of

SPAIN: Dave Partridge, 15 Woodland Drive, Brookline, NH 03033

rebhuhn of

Game Notes:

1) Michael Lowrey tells me that you need only 102 centers or 3/4 approval to get a draw to pass in this, and I believe 50 centers is required for a win. Forgive me if this sounds ``weird'' since anyone except Dave Partridge theoretically could be voted out of a draw. Clarifications or comments would be welcome.


SECRETS: 1999D, Regular Diplomacy



Spring 1910

ENGLAND (Sayers): a GAS S FRENCH f mar, f NAO S f mid, a KIE S FRENCH a mun (otm), f MID h,

f ENG S f mid, f HEL S a kie, f POR S FRENCH f spa(sc).

FRANCE (Sasseville): f MAR s f spa(sc), f SPA(SC) s ENGLISH f mid-wes (nso),

a MUN-tyo, a BUR S f mar.

GERMANY (Barno): a VIE S TURKISH a tyo-boh.

RUSSIA (Reynolds): a MOS h, a LVN S a mos, a sil-BER, f ber-BAL,

a STP S a mos, a PRU S a sil-ber.

TURKEY (Linsey): f ION h, a BUD h, a ukr-WAR, f WES S f gol-spa(sc), a SEV-mos,

f TYH S f tus-gol, a war-SIL, a TRI-tyo, f NAF-mid, f TUN S f wes, f TUS-gol, a PIE-mar,

f GOL-spa(sc), a GAL S a war-sil, a tyo-BOH.

Addresses of the Participants

ENGLAND: Jim Sayers, 15 Holdsworth Street, Woollahra 2025, AUSTRALIA ($10)

jimp of

FRANCE: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 481-4280 ($0)

roland6 of and ICQ: 40565030

GERMANY: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883

mpbarno of or mbarno of

ITALY: John Schultz, 120 Pine Drive, Unit H, Porter, IN 46304, (219) 614-1406

probo of

RUSSIA: Phil Reynolds, 2896 Oak Street, Sarasota, FL 34237, (813) 953-6952

preyno of

TURKEY: Bruce Linsey, PO Box 234, Kinderhook, NY 12106

GonzoHQ of

Game Notes:

1) A FREGT draw is proposed. Please vote with your Summer orders. Failure to vote vetoes the draw.


(RUSSIA to ALL): OK, I'm back into stalemate position. Let the war be fought elsewhere now. (This means it's time for you to prove your worth, Generalissimo Sayers.)

(SOMEWHAT UNITED EMPIRE OF HOLLAND AND VIENNA): Nope, I'm too busy updating the Diplomatic Corps website and the Diplomatic Pouch's upcoming-tournaments page to spend time writing press for a game where the supposed stop-the-leader coalition can't be bothered to negotiate.

EDWARD TELLER: 2002?rn42, Nuclear Yuppie Evil Empire Diplomacy - Black Hole Variant


Summer 1901

AUSTRIA (Schultz): has f ALB, a VIE, and

nuked VEN, BUL(2), RUM(3), AEG(2), TUN.

ENGLAND (Rauterberg): has f LON, f NWG, a WAL, and

nuked ENG(2), RUH(2), GOB, SIL(2), BAL.

FRANCE (Muller): has f MID, a PIC, and

nuked PIE, BUR(3), ENG(2), HOL, RUH(2).

GERMANY (Andruschak): has f KIE, a BER, a MUN, and

nuked HEL, TYO, BUR(3), SIL(2), PRU(2).

ITALY (Kendter): has none and nuked SER, SPA, CON, RUM(3), BUR(3).

RUSSIA (McHugh): has f LVN, a WAR, a UKR, f SEV, and

nuked BUL(2), GAL, PRU(2), RUM(3).

TURKEY (Kenny): has f ANK, a SMY, and

nuked BLA, AEG(2), ION, WES, TYH.

Current Standings

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 TOTAL

JOHN SCHULTZ                     
PAUL RAUTERBERG                     
KARL MULLER                     
HARRY ANDRUSCHAK                     
LEE KENDTER, JR.                     
JACK MCHUGH                     
SANDY KENNY                     
Black Holed  8                     8

Totals(eventually) 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 238

Addresses of the Participants

AUSTRIA: John Schultz, 120 Pine Drive, Unit H, Porter, IN 46304, (219) 614-1406

probo of

ENGLAND: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339

trauterberg of

FRANCE: Karl Muller, 75-17 60 Place, Glendale, NY 11385-6044, (718) 416-1103

karlmuller of or pegandkarl of

GERMANY: Harry Andruschak, 20805 Margaret, Carson, CA 90745-1224, (310) 835-9202

harryandruschak of

ITALY: Lee Kendter, Jr., 1503 Pilgrim Lane, Quakertown, PA 18951

lkendter of

RUSSIA: Jack McHugh, P.O. Box 427, Claymont, DE 19703, (302) 792-1998

flapjack of

TURKEY: Sandy Kenny, 23 East Coulter Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108-1208 (609) 869-3160

pdkenny of

Game Notes:

1) A couple of adjudication notes.... when you guys nuke the same province more than once, I put in parentheses the number of nukes that hit that spot, see Prussia above. Also, if your move to a space succeeds and THEN you are annihilated, I capitalize the first letter of that space where you are annihilated. The reverse happens if your move bounces where I capitalize the first letter of the place you started.


(GERMANY to HIS MANY DEAR FRIENDS, SUMMER 1901): Well, the bombs have been dropped, and now comes the time to sort out neutrals and assess damages. Whilst I am unhappy that France nuked Holland (and we will need to discuss this matter further, Mr. Muller), yet I see no reason for Germany to do anything but obtain its traditional SC of Denmark this Fall. This means I will make no attempt whatsoever on any other powers' home SCs or any other of the Neutrals. In return, I ask that you make no attempts on Denmark, Berlin, Munich, or Kiel. I understand, of course, that sometimes greed overpowers sweet reason. Still, I must gently point out that I will have five nukes that I can use in Spring 2002 and at the moment have no meaningful target for them. Perhaps you might want to leave the situation at that. Thank you for your time and attention.

(KENDTER to SCHULTZ / KENNY): Well, I just need to decide which one of you pissed me off more for 1902.

(SIGNIFICANT OTHER KENNY to HARRY A.): I happen to read about your cat issues. I have a solution. You need a dog. They make GREAT pets. And not one of those small ones, but at least an eighty pounder. Get a BIG dog. He'll take care of your cat problem. And you won't have to worry about the catfood being left in the bowl, going bad. In less that five minutes after the dog enters you place of abode, any food or anything even remotely resembling food three feet from the floor or lower will be permanently out of site, out of mind, and out of your life.

(BOOB to PAUL): Remember, I'M a cat person.... ;-)

(PAUL): That's ok, nobody's perfect. Actually, I just had the opportunity to spend the last four days with my dog alone (Sandy and the kids are visiting relatives in Delaware for Spring break) and I am about ready to become a cat person. Sam can wear out his welcome anywhere. Even at home. Someday I'll have to tell you about the Great Thanksgiving Apple Pie Massacre.

(SARA REICHERT-JIM BURGESS): Hi, sweetie! Just wanted to let you know that the Russian Fleet in Livonia can move into Portugal by traversing 16 black holes: Gulf of Bothnia, Baltic Sea, Prussia, Silesia, Galicia, Rumania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Black Sea, Constantinople, Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, Tunis, Tyrrhenian Sea, West Med, and Spain. The other three Russian units can support it in.

(BOOB to SARA): Indeed! Lots of choices this time!!

(FLAPJACK - KAISER HARRY): You know I love you man - that's why I want you to take good care of those cats. They will be the only pussy you get for the rest of your life.

(SIGNIFICANT OTHER KENNY to HARRY A. AGAIN): And sometimes even those furball cats resemble food.

(ITALY to THE WORLD): BITE ME, if you can find something to bite.

(UPDATE ON THE CATS): One of the cats (Tyler) died, cause unknown. It turns out that all seven cats are semi-feral, and their previous owner did little to socialize them. The good people of PACT (People And Cats Together) have given me a cage to put Pearly in, and she now occupies that cage that is sitting in my bedroom. It has a litter tray at one end, food and water at the other end, and is covered by a blanket when I am not in the room. This may seem extreme, but the people of PACT have a lot of experience in socializing semi-feral cats for adoption. When I am in the room I take the blanket off and talk to her, and pet her, and groom her. I am hoping for the best.

(MORE FROM LEE): WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE This royal blows - no need to even figure out the game :( No orders needed here.

(HARRY ANDRUSCHAK to WORLD): For those of you who may be interested in what I look like nowadays, please go to:

And click on my name. Yes, I am now clean shaven, since my facial hair nowadays grows so slowly that I only need to shave once per week. I have two dimples as well, as many lady friends have commented on.

EMBRACING THE CONSTRAINTS: Breaking Away, Designer's Rules


Turn 9

102 (replenish with a 2): Alice (Breaking Away!)
101 (no replenishment): None
100 (replenish with a 3): Christie
99 (no replenishment): None
98 (no replenishment): None
97 (no replenishment): None
96 (no replenishment): None
95 (no replenishment): None
94 (no replenishment): None
93 (no replenishment): None
92 (no replenishment): None
91 (no replenishment): None
90 (no replenishment): None
89 (no replenishment): None
88 (no replenishment): None
87 (replenish with a 3): Prescott, Rhombus
86 (replenish with a 5): Beaver(2)
85 (no replenishment): None
84 (replenish with a 3): Square(3)
83 (replenish with a 4): Rectangle(4), Enfield
82 (replenish with a 6): Dennis the Menace(1)
81 (no replenishment): None

-S-P-R-I-N-T- -F-I-N-I-S-H- -L-I-N-E-

80 (no replenishment): None
79 (no replenishment): None
78 (no replenishment): None
77 (replenish with a 3): Charlie Brown
76 (no replenishment): None
75 (no replenishment): None
74 (replenish with a 3): Greenwich
73 (replenish with a 4): I.K. Brunel
72 (replenish with a 5): Alfred the Great
71 (replenish with a 6): Alfalfa, Halbert, Sir Isaac Newton, Dana,
William Shakespeare
70 (no replenishment): None
69 (no replenishment): None
68 (replenish with a 3): Edi the Emu, Boniface, Peery the Peacock, Dave the Tinamou
67 (replenish with a 7): Brandon the Kiwi
66 (no replenishment): None
65 (no replenishment): None
64 (no replenishment): None
63 (replenish with a 3): Diamond

Addresses of the Participants - Their Team and Their Cards

TEAM 1 (The Quabbin Reservoirs): Eric Brosius, 53 Bird Street, Needham MA 02492

(5 points) 72060.1540 of CompuServe.COM

A: Dana 16 14 5 6 (8)
B: Enfield 18 7 4 (22)
C: Greenwich 5 14 3 (15)
D: Prescott 3 6 3 (3)

TEAM 2 (The Flightless Birds): Rick Desper, 319 West Side Dr., #102 Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(18 points) (301) 977-7691, rick_desper of

Coached by Petey the Penguin
A: Edi the Emu 3 3 10 3 (6)
B: Dave the Tinamou 3 10 3 (7)
C: Brandon the Kiwi 12 12 7 (3)
D: Peery the Peacock 10 10 3 (7)

TEAM 3 (The Brit Pack): John Harrington, 1 Churchbury Close, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 3UW UK

(19 points) fiendish of, John.Harrington of

A: Alfred the Great 12 8 10 5 (12)
B: William Shakespeare 8 7 6 (10)
C: Sir Isaac Newton 3 3 6 (7)
D: Isambard Kingdom Brunel 5 5 4 (14)

TEAM 4 (The Border Riders): Tom Howell, 365 Storm King Road, Port Angeles, WA 98363

(16 points) off-the-shelf of

Manager: the White Maid
A: Alice of Avenel 14 4 3 2 (18)
B: abbot Boniface 9 14 3 (7)
C: Christie of Clint-hill 5 10 3 (6)
D: Halbert Glendinning 22 8 6 (4)

TEAM 5 (The Quadrilaterals): David Partridge, 15 Woodland Drive, Brookline, NH 03033

(17 points) rebhuhn of

A: Rhombus 9 5 5 3 (4)
B: Square 6 4 3 (5)
C: Rectangle 3 3 4 (3)
D: Diamond 4 12 3 (3)

TEAM 6 (The Bad Boys): Jim Tretick, 13267 Coppermill Drive, Herndon, VA 20171, (703) 713-1328

(3 points) JTretickGames of

A: Alfalfa: 8 8 6 (3)
B: Beaver: 3 3 5 (9)
C: Charlie Brown: 3 3 3 (3)
D: Dennis the Menace: 3 3 6 (12)

Game Notes:

1) I am going BACK to the designer rules for Breaking Away that allow cards of greater than 15 to be replenished. The Breaking Away bonus is earned only on the FIRST turn that you break away from the pack. I printed the original postal rules in Issue #239, if you need a copy and don't have that issue, just ask.

2) The number in parentheses is what you played, the last card in your list is the one you replenished with. There really isn't any excuse except that I can't count, but the last two slots should have replenished with an 8 and a 10 respectively. This is corrected above. But Alice replenished correctly, didn't she? Note that she did NOT Break Away last turn, she was on 81 and Rhombus was on 80.

3) And that's all the Sprint Points, on to the finish.... slowly. We have only one replenished card as a high as a 7, and that's for Brandon the Kiwi, who is quite far in the back. All three of his cards played in the next three rounds still doesn't get him to 100! Well, we'll assume SOMEONE knows what they are doing.

4) We also have a rules question in the First Press Item. Input from the designer is required....


(TOM HOWELL): Now, I have to ask: If I played Alice for 14 to square 98 and Christie for 5 to 99 this turn, would that constitute Christie's `rejoining the pack'? Or does a rider have to pull ahead or him, or even? If yes to the first question, then he could break away on the subsequent turn with Alice playing a 3 to 101 and Christie his 10 to 109 for an 8 replacement card. Then he could cross the finish line with a bit of authority - and a turn sooner!

(BOOB to TOM): My clear ruling on THIS case would be NO, Christie would still be the pack leader. The move you made also is clear, Alice has broken away though not very far. What is NOT clear to me is what the ruling would be if Alice had a 15 and used it while Christie used the 5 and BOTH were on 99. Then they would BOTH be leading the pack. Would we use the fact that Alice is an A rider and say SHE leads for that reason?? I'm honestly not sure. John, your thoughts please??

(ALICE to GAME DESIGNER): A one? That wasn't a Break Away! although I was thinking I wanted one... A one? I'd have been happy to take it, as I would use it ... NEXT turn!

(BOOB to ALL): Then again, perhaps we DON'T want to ask the game designer for advice...

(ALICE to GAME DESIGNER): A break? Nah, see above to Prescotty. However, we WERE worried that one of his teammates might have messed up Christie's break this turn ...

(BOOB to ALICE): Uh, I just moved that other note to ``below", I try to weave this press together with some sense to it, rather than just stacking it up randomly.

(PETEY - > QUADS): Since you guys have no cross-sectional area at all, you should be really kicking butt! Or are you not riding with your plane of embedding parallel to the race direction? Tsk, tsk.

(BOOB to PETEY): Now, you're SURE that's parallel? What if we're in a non-Euclidean world where there are multiple parallels?? Which universe are you in now??

(WHITE MAID to BOOB): Don't really matter what kinda equipment I carry inside this dress. It's what my riders do with theirs that counts.

(TOM to BOOB): Yeah, I've noticed that riders who gloat before the race is over tend to upend in the ditch.

(BOOB to TOM): Guilty as charged, I'm getting my goose cooked in the Tinamou game and might even finish FOURTH! The White Maid still has SOME equipment inside that dress, even if she won't admit to it or gloat/brag about it!

(QUABS-QUADS): You fellas were supposed to stop that breakaway!

(ALICE to PETEY: Nah, it's just these 10 league boots I wear.

(ALICE to PRESCOTT): Play a five and replenish with a three? You're supposed to play the three and R with 5.

(CHRISTIE to ALICE): At least he didn't play the 6 and cut down my 10.

(ALICE to PETEY): Or was that Christie of Clint Hill's replacement card you were asking about?

(ALICE to PRESCOTT): Nah, no more big cards for me. I got enough to do the job. It's me teammates I'm worried about now.

(PETEY - > BRITS): Reservoirs, C'mon lads, we can catch up! All we need is a little TeamWork!

(BOOB to PETEY): You won't get it from THIS crowd....

(WHITE MAID to PETEY): Them Reservists had me sweating there a couple of turns back.

(WHITE MAID to ERIC): Well, ... we're playing this in a Dip 'zine, aren't we? Still, it might be a tad late for this game.

(TOM to ERIC): I better not tell our GM how I do it, else he'll get really tough and then no one would have a chance in any game!

(PETEY - > GM): this must be the must surreal of the bike races we've done yet. The Brits, Bad Boys, and Border Riders are all mostly normal. But, though I thought my team of flightless birds would be the weirdest, I think that reward is either won by the team which has four large bodies of water riding bicycles, or the team which has four 2-dimensional, 4-sided geometric shapes riding bicycles.

(BOOB to PETEY): One wonders at least if anyone recalls that the game is about drafting. No drafting in this crowd!

(WHITE MAID to BOOB): Ok, we give! How goes the one about a one armed economist?

(BOOB to WHITE MAID): One of the most famous Presidential quotes of all time is: ``Give me a one-armed economist!" demanded President Harry S. Truman.

President Truman was the first president to appoint a council of economic advisers. Unlike some later presidents, he actually liked to listen to his policy advisers. However, he preferred a clear recommendation, not a long discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of a particular course of action. And long winded discussions of equilibrium and the effects (both pro and con) of particular policy actions are what economists specialize in! Just ask me sometime to explain what I think about health care policy..... my last published article on the subject is extremely dense and long winded. I sent it once to Richard Weiss.... and he was kind in his criticism... ;-)

Anyway, Truman quickly grew tired of economists who gave a good recommendation, and then began, ``On the other hand. . ."

(ERIC BROSIUS): I taped Ken Burns' Public Radio series Jazz, and I've made a few observations about what I do and don't like. As you may recall, I wrote a few years ago about my puzzlement regarding this kind of music; I enjoy Jazz Decades on Sunday nights with Ray Smith, but I don't care too much for what's on most jazz stations most of the time. This is a bit frustrating, because I would like to enjoy it; I can't imagine all the people who talk and write about it are just making it up. So you have to take these comments with the understanding that I'm probably somewhat clueless-but that doesn't mean my comments might not be of some interest to others.

First, I can't understand why the cymbals have taken over jazz to the extent that you can hardly listen to anything recorded in recent years that isn't soaked in cymbals. I just don't like the sound of that cymbal very much, and unless you're listening to retro stuff, it seems you can't avoid it. I mentioned this observation to a friend and he said it's like the a cappella groups that imitate drums on every cut-to the extent that he really enjoys it when he hears an a cappella group do a song a cappella.

Second, I realize after watching Jazz that I enjoy almost everything up to and including the advent of Charlie Parker, with the frantic runs of notes he introduced. I enjoyed his music as well, but what I don't seem to enjoy are other people imitating Charlie Parker. Maybe I just need to listen more (if I can ignore the cymbals,) but it doesn't seem to me that other people (in general) do this as well as he did, or well enough for me to enjoy it. As a result, I seem to prefer stuff recorded in the 20's or 30's, or stuff that imitates that period.

Maybe the next time I write to you on this topic I will have made some more progress¼

((Hi Eric, I had a chance to read your message more closely and I agree. That about sums up my viewpoint too. I spent a year in college (1978-79) with a three hour weekly jazz radio show and I worked really hard that year finding quality, but what I liked the best was the 20-30's stuff. Here and there I would find other things that I found interesting, and I talked to lots of the other jazz programmers about how my show sounded and other than the annoying sophomoric tendency I had at the time to play occasional Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass cuts (also plagued by cymbals, of course....) they kept telling me I had a great show. But I played a LOT of Bessie Smith, who is my love from that period. But you also have to remember that these things are about context. I find what I like best in jazz that is NOT in the class you talk about (and actually even FROM the 20/30's as well!) are the female vocalists, some of whom ARE doing some quite interesting things with songs. And I haven't heard a human sound like a cymbal yet. Most recently, as I said, I consider Diana Krall the best of these. And she is no slouch as a piano player either!!!))

FEAR AND WHISKEY: 1998Ers31, Modern Diplomacy


Summer 2008

BRITAIN (Schultz): has a EDI, f NTH, a MUR, f DEN, f BAL, a STP, f BRN,

f GOB, f SKA.

EGYPT (J. O'Donnell): has f TUN, f LBS, f ION, a SYR, a NAP, a IRK, f IZM.

GERMANY (Rauterberg): R f lit-GDA; has a SAX, a MUN, f PRU, f BER,

f GDA, f BOR, a AUS, a LYO, f BEL, a CZE, a SIL, a MIL, f HAM, a MAR.

ITALY (Ozog): R f mon otb.

SPAIN (S. O'Donnell): has f POR, a BAR, a MAD, a NAV, f MAO, f LIG,

a ROM, f TYS, a MON.

UKRAINE (Partridge): has a VOL, a MOS, a KRA, a RUM, f WBS, f IST, a LAT,

a SLO, a WAR, f SER, a VEN, a ADA, a URA, a HUN, a BIE, f GRE, a LIT, f ADR,

a IRN, a CRO.

Addresses of the Participants

BRITAIN: John Schultz, 120 Pine Drive, Unit H, Porter, IN 46304, (219) 614-1406

probo of

EGYPT: Jeff O'Donnell, 402 Middle Ave., Elyria, OH 44035-5728, (440) 322-2920

or (440) 225-9203 (cell) ($2)

FRANCE: Harry Andruschak, PO Box 5309, Torrance, CA 90510-5309, (310) 835-9202 ($5)

Tapmdfrance of

GERMANY: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 (E-Mail)

trauterberg of

ITALY: Eric Ozog, PO Box 1138, Granite Falls, WA 98252-1138, (360) 691-4264 ($3)

ElfEric of

POLAND: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 481-4280 ($5)

roland6 of and ICQ: 40565030

RUSSIA: Randy Ellis, 3116 McGee, Apt. 1N, Kansas City, MO 64111, (816) 931-8406

surfeit of

SPAIN: Sean O'Donnell, 1044 Wellfleet Drive, Grafton, OH 44044 ($5)

sean_o_donnell of, sfo25 of

TURKEY: Kent Pollard, 1541 W. San Jose, Fresno, CA 93711, (209) 225-0957 ($10)

UKRAINE: Dave Partridge, 15 Woodland Drive, Brookline, NH 03033 ($8)

rebhuhn of

Game Notes:

1) The Modern Dip web page at: currently is on hiatus. I'll try to remember to let you know when it returns.

2) I'm going to start a quiet interest list down here in the next Modern game. I don't want to start it until this game is done or nearly done, but with ten players it may take awhile, so I'll start now. Rick Desper is in to be one of the players. Any more??? We are going to do it with ``wings''.


(THE MEKONS QUOTE OF THE MONTH): ``Your blood moves - only the music can speak for a soul lost in such depths.'' A statement by the Sinning 'n Prayin' MEKONS from the cover of Crime and Punishment, great little 45 RPM (remember those??) record of theirs from 1986 featuring some really twisted songs like ``Beaten and Broken'' and ``Chop That Child in Half''. Seems fitting for this group...

Personal Note to You:

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.05.
On 18 Apr 2002, 17:17.