THE ABYSSINIAN PRINCE #319

May 10, 2009


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


Now and forever, "20 Minutes into the Future" and late again.


Accessible through Internet at burgess of world.std.com (all E-Mail addresses are reported in this format, replace the " of " with "@"; if you bounce try sending to me from another account. Some of you have been getting bounced messages from my ISP's spam protection, if that happens to you, USE my backup E-Mail at jfburgess of gmail.com!!! Don't complain that my E-Mail keeps bouncing without forwarding the bounced message to that address. Then I can forward it to the ISP help to get it dealt with.
Web Page Address: http://www.diplom.org/DipPouch/Postal/Zines/TAP/index.html


If any of you have any experience or exposure to experience teaching at the college level and add that to the graduate college level, you will know the depth of stupidity I got myself into this year by teaching TWO new classes (one in the fall and one now just finishing). Next year I REALLY am going to get my life back under control, but it all comes out here. A few things I need to do to keep sane. First, I'm going to ditch 23 Tunes entirely for now (letters on any music subjects are always welcome - thanks to Mike Barno for another of his great letters this issue). Second, I'm going to focus on trying to just keep the games going a bit more on schedule. Lastly, the issue of interest in this issue will just be my writeup on the generally very successful TempleCon tournament that I ran in February.
I expect ALL players to be signed up on the E-Mail notification list for the szine, see below. Some of you have been complaining about this, but it is up to you to get on this list, it's easy, come ask me if you have trouble. THIS IS A PROBLEM, sign up now if you're playing!!!
I would if I were you.


The postal sub price is still $1.50 per issue in the US and Canada, with 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. Anyone may play in subszines for free and just jack up the issue page count. Since I have to get caught up this issue with all sorts of subszines, I'm going to be fairly limited with other items this issue. See the revised game start announcements below!
Check out the connections in the Diplomatic Pouch with all of the information you need to play Diplomacy on the Internet at: http://www.diplom.org/DipPouch/ and current and past issues of TAP on the web is there at: http://www.diplom.org/DipPouch/Postal/Zines/TAP/index.html
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.
Peter Sullivan's subszine is back in stasis, but all the back issues can be accessed via :
http://www.burdonvale.co.uk/octopus/index.html.
Peter is now back at least sometimes he is producing this new fannish thing called Virtual Tucker Hotel that you can find at http://efanzines.com/VTH/. I am not sure I actually understand VTH, someday I'll hook up on one of the live chats and then maybe I'll figure it out. Rip Gooch is probably permanently missing as a subszine, but he has a cool facebook page and you can keep track of him there. Dave Partridge had been picking up the choo-choo game slack. Contact Dave at rebhuhn of rocketmail.com for more info on getting into choo-choo games and other sorts of different games. And Andy York and Doug Kent have been my most frequent subszine guests lately!!! Andy has been in every issue, thanks, Andy!!! And Doug Kent has been coming out faster than TAP lately, so each issue has been having multiple Eternal Sunshine's. I haven't heard from Michael Lowrey lately but he gets his in every few issues too! So, we have a full set of subszines at the moment.
The TAP mailing list has moved! It now is even BETTER protected than it was. I even have a bit of trouble posting to it. To post to this list, send your email to: tap of diplom.org. But this is completely moderated, it won't go out to the list unless I approve it. In general, I intend to keep traffic down to just the szine, as we've been doing and I'll put your LOCs in here. I EXPECT all players to be on this list, especially those of you who are from foreign countries!!! You need this to find out when the szine is up on the web to check in on results.
General information about the mailing list is at: http://www.diplom.org/mailman/listinfo/tap
You can sign up from there, or send E-Mails to: Tap-request of diplom.org; with the word `help' in the subject or body (don't include the quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions. You must know your password to change your options (including changing the password, itself) or to unsubscribe. Normally, Mailman will remind you of your diplom.org mailing list passwords once every month, although you can disable this if you prefer. This reminder will also include instructions on how to unsubscribe or change your account options. There is also a button on your options page that will email your current password to you. A big, big thank you for Millis Miller for setting this all up!!


THE SEARCH FOR MICHEL FERON
Jerry Jones gets added to the list of failures, next up the former editor of Moeshoeshoe, along with Michel Liesnard one of the founders of the Belgian Diplomacy hobby. If you read Diplomacy World #101 you will quickly figure out why I chose Michel Feron to search for next. There are a host of clues on the Internet that I found, so he could be very easy to find. Go for it, you have until Issue #320.
I am running out of people on MY list of who to search for, so I am looking for ideas, who would you like to find? Send me some names. I will likely go into all these szines that Doug Kent is posting and find some more szine editors to search for, that's what I usually do, but I'd like to find people that some of you will search for or want to find!!! This actually is giving me a HUGE number of possible ideas for people to search for, but I can be focused or induced. Come on, help me out.


Feel free to spend the time looking for some of the backlog. Let's get Jerry, Margaret, Derek, Sylvain, Steve, Ed, Tom, Gregory, and ESPECIALLY Kevin found too!!! 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 Jerry Jones or Margaret Gemignani or Steve Heinowski or Ed Henry or Tom Hurst or Gregory Stewart or Derek Nelson or Sylvain LaRose or John Smythe 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.


INTERNATIONAL SUBSCRIPTION EXCHANGE NEWS
John Harrington and I have agreed to close the ISE. In this age of PayPal, the traffic on the ISE had fallen almost to zero, and what was left almost entirely was me facilitating orders of Breaking Away and John's other Fiendish Games. So, I'm still going to help John out with that, but there will be no ISE. If anyone still needs assistance with this, though, since I'm helping John out, like if you're in a foreign country and need to send dollars for dipping things to someone in the US, I may be able to help you out.


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.
Stephen Agar has matched the Hasbro rule lists and more with some of the even older rulebooks. Check these out if you like:
http://www.hasbro.com/default.asp?xcc_gameandtoyinstructions
http://www.hasbro.com/instruct/Diplomacy.PDF
http://www.hasbro.com/instruct/Diplomacy(OlderVers).PDF
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 (relatively new address for this):
http://www.diplomacy-archive.com/diplomacy_rules.htm


Check out current and back issues of Diplomacy World - Yahoogroup diplomacyworld
and at Doug Kent's new Diplomacy World web site at:
http://www.diplomacyworld.net/


Also, I need any Hobby Award Nominations NOW (!!!) for the :
The 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008 Don Miller Award for Meritorious Service;
The 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008 Rod Walker Award for Literature;
The 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008 John Koning Award for Player Performance;
The 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008 Fred Hyatt Award for GM Performance;
or
A 2005 and 2006 and 2007 and 2008 Kathy Byrne Caruso Award for Lifetime Achievement (if warranted).
The NEW Hobby Awards Committee is Jim Burgess (Chair and Treasurer), Fred Davis, Jr., Melinda Holley, Andy York, Jack McHugh Paul Kenny, Mark Stretch, and Robert Lesco. I was going to publish the award ballot for this year in this issue, but I realized that I really just had to get this out first and then do that.... and then, well, REAL SOON NOW!!! And when I do, I'm going to give out four sets of awards and get caught up for the missed years, that seems to make the most sense. Committee.... you will be hearing more from me soon!


Diplomacy World Issue Deadlines are now:
Deadline Summer 2009, Issue #106: beginning of July; theme is "Historical Variants" from pre-1900.
Deadline Fall 2009, Issue #107: beginning of October; theme is "Balance of Power", arguably the key concept in all of Diplomacy, Eric Hunter, Doug and I just realized that there are NO good articles around that actually describe it. The founder of the feast, Mr. Calhamer, of course has written on it a couple of times, but he has, well, a singular view. I hope we get a lot of excellent articles on this topic, I'm writing one.
These last few issues have been really tremendous, if you've not looked at them yet, go look! And for any issue, we're taking articles on ANY subject, let us know!!!
See http://www.diplomacyworld.net/ for some exciting back issue material being posted as well as the new Issues, including the monstrous Issue #100. Highlights of #100 include Walt Buchanan's ex-wife Carol showing us who REALLY was in charge of the hobby back in the Hoosier Archives days, Eric Ozog augmenting the oft-heard, but never get enough of, love story between Eric and Cathy, and the start of the new Diplomacy World Demo Game. We also now have every issue back to the very beginning posted!
Editorial Board for Diplomacy World:
Doug Kent, Lead Executive Editor!, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228, dougray30 of yahoo.com
Jim Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, USA; burgess of world.std.com - Co-Editor and Interview Editor
Rick Desper, 5440 Marinelli Road, #204, Rockville, MD 20852, USA; rick_desper of yahoo.com - Demo Games Editor
Mark Zoffel; zoffel of earthlink.net - Strategy and Tactics Editor
Jim O'Kelley, 4224 N. Hamlin Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618, jimthegrey1013 of yahoo.com - Club and Tournament Editor
Jack McHugh, 810 School Lane, Folcroft, PA 19032, jwmchughjr of gmail.com - Variant Editor


Now our FTF tournaments, see the FTF tournament page at: http://diplom.org/Face/cons/index.php
TEMPLECON 2009 Report (First Round of Four Tournament Nor'Easter)
We had 21 players in total playing seven games in four rounds, three with two each, only disappointment was not forming a second board on Sunday afternoon. It's still a fight to actually get gamers at a general gaming convention in the room at the right time to play. Plus a HUGE apology to our Best Russia for the weekend who arrived just after we did the draw for the Sunday afternoon round and everyone present voted to have a nice clean final board rather than scrounging for players and a weird last round with people playing on both boards. Our seven games were all clean, I issued not a SINGLE Diplomacy order in anger or otherwise all weekend, no one played more than two boards at a time or played without fully competing in the round and the tournament. We did have a couple of replacement fill-ins when people had to leave, but one ended immediately after the player left.
We got a lot of people excited about games in the future though, which will pay Massacre, HuskyCon, and Carnage dividends to come, as well as house games. Note that newcomer Brendan Hickey already has a note out asking for dates so he can host a game, and hosted one on Valentine's Day at his apartment in Providence!!! By my count, we had 10 veterans of previous FTF and tournament play, and 11 newcomers! The ratio to me seemed good. Let me repeat that... THAT RATIO SEEMED GOOD! I think we all should be shooting to bring in an equal number of newcomers, I worked hard for them and it paid off in the end. Some of the newcomers had played long ago, some were in their first FTF games. Two of the 11 finished in the top 10, and one won best Russia. Chris Morse won best Russia and Ari Caramanica was awarded a "Newcomer Most Likely to Succeed Award". She contributed to a strong female ratio as well, 1/7th of the players were female.
Here's the results (more on the scoring system and other comments at the bottom, total points in the scoring system are in parentheses):
Champion (201.25): Peter McNamara, also winning Best Germany, Best Turkey, Best Italy (with a solo).
2ND (69.59): Jon Hill, also winning Best Austria and Best England
3RD (67.48): Steve Cooley, also winning Best France
4TH (64.3): Robert Rousse (Carnage ends the 4 tournament Nor'Easter, make November 6-8 plans now!)
5TH (62.62): Charles Steinhardt
6TH (61.39): Alex Amann
7TH (52.5): Melissa Call
8TH (51.2): Chris Morse, also winning Best Russia
9TH (50.85): Don Williams, also winning prize for longest traveler from California
10TH (50.55): Ari Caramanica, also winning Newcomer Most Likely to Succeed Award
11TH (47.96): Christian Pedone, flew in from Philly
12TH (45.64): Brendan Hickey
13TH (37.82): Kayley Lauren
14TH (36.00): Jason Davis
14TH (36.00): Ron Severson
16TH (34.69): Andrew Klock
17TH (29.14): Brian Carlisi
18TH (28.56): Brian Tuttle
19TH (18.71): Colden Rouleau, won a Diplomacy World T-Shirt that will get good visibility
20TH (13.90): Carl Ellis, won a Diplomacy World bumper sticker that will get good visibility
21ST (13.84): Scott Houser, won an award for "Most Observant and Persistent New Player"
Here are the final board results and center counts with the detour scoring system basic points in parentheses)

Round 1, Board 1
Austria (Chris Morse): 5 5 6 6 3 2 2 2 2 (6.56)
England (Brian Tuttle): 5 6 6 6 7 7 6 5 2 (6.56)
France (Mel Call): 4 4 4 3 2 1 0 - - (1.64)
Germany (Peter McNamara): 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 16 (47.54) (BEST GERMANY)
Italy (Alex Amann): 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 (14.75) (Alex wins our Mr. Consistency award)
Russia (Brian Carlisi): 6 4 1 0 - - - - - (0.00)
Turkey (Andrew Klock): 4 4 5 6 8 9 9 9 9 (22.95)

Round 1, Board 2
Austria (Kayley Lauren): 4 5 4 2 1 1 0 - - (1.82)
England (Ari Caramanica): 4 5 7 7 6 7 7 5 5 (14.55)
France (Jon Hill): 5 6 6 6 7 7 6 7 5 (14.55)
Germany (Scott Hauser): 4 4 3 3 4 4 5 5 4 (10.91)
Italy (Brendan Hickey): 4 4 4 5 6 7 7 7 8 (23.64)
Russia (Carl Ellis): 5 4 4 4 3 2 2 3 4 (10.91)
Turkey (Charles Steinhardt): 5 6 6 7 7 6 7 7 8 (23.64) (Don Williams substituted for last 3 years)

Round 2, Board 1
Austria (Jason Davis): 4 3 2 1 0 - (0.00)
England (Melissa Call): 5 5 7 8 9 10 (26.79)
France (Brian Carlisi): 5 5 3 2 2 2 (7.14)
Germany (Don Williams): 6 6 6 8 7 7 (19.64)
Italy (Colden Rouleau): 4 5 6 6 6 3 (10.71)
Russia (Scott Houser): 5 5 2 0 - - (0.00)
Turkey (Peter McNamara): 4 5 8 9 10 12 (35.71) (BEST TURKEY)

Round 2, Board 2
Austria (Jon Hill): 5 6 6 5 6 7 6 6 (16.67) (BEST AUSTRIA)
England (Christian Pedone): 5 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 (24.07)
France (Steve Cooley): 5 6 7 6 8 8 9 10 (31.48) (BEST FRANCE)
Germany (Andrew Klock): 5 4 3 3 1 1 1 0 (1.85)
Italy (Carl Ellis): 4 4 4 4 2 2 2 0 (1.85)
Russia (Brian Tuttle): 5 2 1 0 - - - - (0.00)
Turkey (Alex Amann): 4 5 6 8 9 8 8 9 (24.07)

Round 3, Board 1
Austria (Carl Ellis): 6 6 8 9 10 11 12 14 13 14 (0.00)
England (Scott Houser): 4 5 4 3 3 5 3 2 2 1 (0.00)
France (Alex Amann): 5 5 5 6 5 4 3 0 - - (0.00)
Germany (Colden Rouleau): 5 5 6 6 6 4 3 3 1 0 (0.00)
Italy (Peter McNamara): 4 6 5 8 9 9 12 14 17 19 (110.0) (BEST ITALY)
Russia (Brendan Hickey): 4 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 (0.00)
Turkey (Ron Severson): 4 4 3 1 0 - - - - - (0.00)

Round 3, Board 2
Austria (Don Williams): 2 2 0 - - - - - (0.00)
England (Jon Hill): 4 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 (28.30) (BEST ENGLAND)
France (Charles Steinhardt): 5 6 7 7 7 6 7 6 (16.98)
Germany (Christian Pedone): 6 4 4 4 3 3 1 0 (1.89)
Italy (Andrew Klock): 4 4 3 3 3 1 0 - (1.89)
Russia (Chris Morse): 5 7 7 6 6 7 8 8 (22.64) (BEST RUSSIA)
Turkey (Robert Rousse): 5 5 7 7 7 9 9 10 (28.30)

Round 4, Board 1
Austria (Melissa Call): 5 6 5 6 6 (16.07)
England (Colden Rouleau): 4 4 1 0 - (0.00)
France (Don Williams): 5 6 7 8 8 (23.21)
Germany (Alex Amann): 5 5 6 8 9 (28.57)
Italy (Scott Houser): 4 4 4 3 3 (8.93) (Peter McNamara substituted for the last season)
Russia (Jon Hill): 5 5 6 6 6 (16.07)
Turkey (Carl Ellis): 5 4 5 3 2 (7.14)
Since we did make the six boards in the first three rounds, we qualify for the Grand Prix, that's two tournaments, two qualifiers so far. I want to salute Jim O'Kelley and the whole Grand Prix team for the new rules, it really pushed me to get the 21 players that we got, and to qualify, and I'm really proud we "Did it Clean" to quote an old Echo and the Bunnymen lyric and song and that I didn't issue a Diplomacy order all tournament. According to the rules of Grand Prix, that earns Peter McNamara 60 GP points which slots him around the same number of points as the tenth place finisher Brian Shelden at the much larger WACCon in Seattle last month. I expect Jim O'Kelley will bring out the GP standings shortly. Unfortunately, Brian Shelden at Prezcon was unable to reach that game status a few weeks ago. Ric Manns is running the National Block Party, March 27-29. Adam Silverman and Edi Birsan are running the Whipping in San Francisco, April 17-19. And most importantly, World DipCon is June 24-28 with special guest Allan B. Calhamer in Columbus, Ohio.
Also, this is the FIRST tournament in the new regional sub-Grand Prix tournament we're dubbing the "Nor'Easter". The next tournament in that group is Boston Massacre in Cambridge, June 21-22, the week before World DipCon; HuskyCon in August (date not final yet); and Carnage, November 6-8 in Vermont. I committed to making sure that there is a First Place Nor'Easter prize to be awarded and convinced Robert Rousse (Carnage co-organizer) that they may be able to get up Second and Third Place prizes. More on that to come. Most of our TempleCon players were from Boston, so I'm hoping we can get almost all of them to Massacre and build on that tournament as well.
Drop Dead Time Deadlines: These worked like a charm (well, Christian Pedone had one little glitch, and there were a few others, but in general). The games really moved along, I augmented David Norman's sister's voice with direct reminders to people out of the room, and people respected other players' space with need for order writing time. And the atmosphere was great. I ended up going with the 17 minute spring, 15 minute fall continually running clock that Melissa has been using. There were NO time draws (though potential for a time draw may have ended a few games), and we had plenty of outside time for sleeping, other games etc. even though we had four rounds in the weekend. This could be a New England style, but we liked it. We also like detour.
Ante System for Running a Tournament in a General Gaming Convention: Six out of 21 players, nearly a 1/3, played ONLY one round. This was a general gaming convention with all the usual board game, role playing, video gaming, card gaming, miniatures, etc. gaming going on 24 hours straight. The ante system where people anted up 14 points and got 50 points for entering the tournament gave a lot of weight to the ante. This built off of the average (14 * 7 = 98, where most games other than solos summed to 100 points), but the variance in detour is pretty high and I was thinking that next time I might ratchet the ante down a bit. I'm considering a 10 point ante with 40 points for entering the tournament or perhaps a 5 point ante with 20 points for entering. Comments on this are welcome, but I think you WANT people to try a game. Some newcomers, like Scott Houser, ended up playing in every round, while others just played one. That was OK with me. I'm going to shoot (realistically I think) for at least three boards per round next year. I fully support the Grand Prix decision that pushed me to GET the two boards per round that we needed. I hope it helps all of the rest of the tournaments get more players as well. I wrote a little article in a recent Diplomacy World on the General Gaming Convention tournament idea:
http://www.diplomacyworld.net/pdf/dw104.pdf
and I think we continue to need a mix, just about the mix we currently have going in the Northeast: Two general gaming conventions (TempleCon and Carnage), one standalone gameshop based tournament (Boston Massacre) and one giant housecon (HuskyCon). Boston Massacre is coming up June 20-21, I hope to see YOU there!!!
Thanks to everyone and to the great TempleCon hosts, my choice to reserve a crash suite worked out really well, I hope there are enough people next year to need two or three of them. If I counted right, there was enough room for Peter McNamara, Jon Hill, Alex Amann, Mel Call, Christian Pedone, Andrew Klock, Colden Rouleau, and Carl Ellis in there, they did "pay what you can" and I thought it worked great. I spent a reasonable amount of money hosting this.
Lastly, some comments and ideas on selling Diplomacy on site: I was not that successful here, but here are some things I did. I was very careful to post notes on the game forums on the web site so that people knew we were there. This was most successful and I garnered half a dozen players just by posting some inviting sounding notes. I tried direct E-Mails to Judge players and other players I could identify as being in the area, this was less successful, but I will try again. At the Con, though I was using my laptop to run the timer, at off game times, I walked around the Con playing Edi Birsan's Teaching Videos from You Tube.... don't believe me? Yes, I really, really did this. I got lots of strange stares, especially from the Miniatures players, but some of them looked. All of them identified Edi's NY accent. I also played the videos in the game room before rounds. This was more successful, many of the newer players eagerly listened to the videos and picked up advice. I also passed out LOTS of maps and Diplomacy 5 Minute Teaching guides. Quite a number of players who were committed to other games picked these up, and said they might come to Massacre in June. They'll also be at Carnage in November and maybe we can entice them to play a round or two. There also was a newspaper reporter who I snagged (being a non-playing tournament director that is a big bonus for having time to proselytize) for a long interview. He said he was a web reporter who would be filing articles with lots of general gaming sites and I definitely intrigued him into writing at least something about us. I explained the Grand Prix, and the Nor'Easter, and the game, etc. Reporters always write what they like, but I think we'll at least get a mention. If any of you end up seeing that, let us know.
TempleCon was the best we've had yet, and I look forward to even better next year,


MUSIC AND MOVIES SECTION (WITH COMMENTS ON OTHER ARTS AND SOCIETY)


23 Tunes Game Cancelled for Now - Send me Music Letters!


Mike Barno (7 April 2009)
Dear Jim,
2008 turned out to be one of the best years for live music that I've ever had. It didn't start out looking that way at all: several of my favorite Ithaca, Binghamton, and regional bands had broken up in the previous year and a half. A couple of my surviving favorites took a winter break. So I didn't attend more than an hour of live music the whole first quarter, and only a few small bar shows in the second quarter. But things really picked up and I heard a lot of good music, old and new, before 2008 was done. I'll start with the national bands that you might have actually heard of. I'm a Deadhead from way back - no, not the Sixties but since the early Eighties - and there's still a community of fans supporting the Grateful Dead members' projects. Two of them were among my year's highlights: the Mickey Hart Band (Friday, July 18, at the Magic City Music Hall in Johnson City, NY), and Bob Weir's band, Ratdog (Friday, August 22, at the CMAC in Canandaigua, NY, with the Allman Brothers Band). Performing since 1965 hasn't stopped either Mickey or Bob from keeping musical creativity and putting in a lot of effort. My Music Lesson of the Year came at the Mickey Hart show. Because of the shamefully small crowd (perhaps due to conflicting with the Grassroots festival in Ithaca that weekend), I was able to watch from six feet away as Steve Kimock used a "bullet" for rolling fretwork to make remarkable sounds on a double-necked guitar laid flat on a rack like an ironing board. Better sound bending just by real physical instrument-playing than I hear anyone do with effect-boxes or computers. And old man Mickey gave me lessons all night working 18 drums (or about 18) all around him.
The Ratdog and Allman Brothers show, with some of the audience in the roofed amphitheatre and the rest of us on the hill behind the seats, was strange. Technically good performances but, due to the song selection perhaps, nobody danced. One contributing factor may have been the heavy police-and-dog presence, apparently because of fights and drugs at a thrash-metal concert the previous weekend. The musical highlight, easily, was the Allman Brothers' half-hour encore. Problem was, I had gone out the wrong exit pre-encore and with no re-admittance, I had to try to find a way around to the cheap-parking lot. If I hadn't wasted that time walking, it would have been one of the year's best bits of music.
Another national act that gave a great show was Michael Hill's Blues Mob, on October 24. This was the last blues concert at Magic City Music Hall before it closed for good (less than a year after its roof was rebuilt). I heard Hill a few years ago, doing an hour gig in the middle of an all-day blues festival one county west is Owego, and he kicked butt, so I knew I'd like this. Two of my favorites local bands (the Parlor Cats and Badweather Blues) played good opening sets, then Hill and the Mob ripped through a couple of hours of classics. But the best was at the end, when Hill invited members of the Parlor Cats and Badweather Blues to join him and his guys. There was great collaboration here, and everybody contributed well and appeared to have a lot of fun. It was a great showcase for Brian Potenziano's harmonica and Debbie Hoskins' lead vocals, in particular. Because of the national band and my friends from two bar-bands sharing a stage so well, this was my Live Show of the Year. My last big-name musical performance of 2008 was an anachronism, in a good sense. Chapel Hill, North Carolina may produce basketball teams with speed and brains to win championships, but that town also gave us Squirrel Nut Zippers, a throwback to vaudeville times when speed and brains could engage audiences. In Ithaca, NY, the rebuilt State Theater was reopening for its 80th Anniversary celebration, so this band was the perfect choice. Ithacans of all sorts showed up in Twenties costumes, er, "clothes." They packed the place and obviously had a lot of fun, with many folks dancing in front. The old SNZ broke up because of seven songwriters wanting their stuff performed, according to one of their people during intermissions. This was one of the first shows for the new version, but it was mostly tight despite complex interactions between vocalists (usually quite obvious) or among instruments (sometimes more subtle). Clever wordplay, often cynical, loaded with double entendres, enunciated clearly when other bands just yell or grunt. Zippy music that lets no musician slack. Good stuff and not the same as anything else being performed, my New Old Stuff of the Year. ((I've always liked the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but hadn't heard this breakup and reformation story. I'll watch for something recorded from the new incarnation soon.))
I mentioned in the intro that some bands I liked had ceased to be. But things got better. The Morgan String Band (whose second album I reviewed in issue 311) broke up, but four of the five eventually reformed under the name The String Band. It makes them tough to Google, but if you hear the samples on their MySpace page, you'll get the point that they do fast and fine bluegrass, including bluegrass rearrangements of rock and blues and other songs. All four musicians (well, only occasionally the big standup bass, but always the banjo and guitar and fiddle) do more work with their left hands' fretwork than most so-called guitar heroes do with both hands. When they returned, I regained interest in live music. They're my Live Band of the Year awarded for indoor and outdoor high times.
Another reformation from a former favorite band is GoGone, with some of the people and original songs from the Coopertones, whose first and last album I mentioned in issue 281. I had lost touch until they played a public show one summer evening on the Ithaca Commons. That was so much fun that I wasn't slowed or driven to cover when rain came. Shortly after that, they released the album GoGone, with two songs from the Coopertones album, a couple of their other old songs, and about five new originals. Meryl Young's "Junkie" is one hell of a song even if you donít know it's about her brother. This version is harsher than the one on The Coopertones: Greatest Hits Volume 1; fortunately it's followed by "Black T-Shirt" by two former band members, a pop-rock song that would probably be great hardcore punk, and lifts the mood. With some haunting songs of distant lands, and some hot guitar work (for instance, on Jon Pargh's "Scratch") ("I donít know when I'll find the time to build my world from scratch again"), this self-produced CD is my Album of the Year.
One more for my "broke up and regrouped" list is the former Sol Dog from Connecticut. Something happened and "that band doesn't exist anymore," but most or all of the same people now play as "Rev and Friends." The main difference is that instead of soaring electric guitar that makes a room feel like an arena, Rev now plays most leads on an acoustic guitar with the same note bending being done so subtly that you'll miss it unless you're watching and listening. For me, the previous big-sound style carried those songs better, both the originals and the covers, but there's no point ever asking the Reverend to do what he doesn't want.
That's all for my Broke-Up-and-Reorganized theme. Next is Festivals. I only had two this year, and neither was huge nor star-studded, but both were great fun. This was the sixth year of West Fest, where the parking lot behind Cyber Café West becomes the site for a bunch of bands playing all kinds of music for a few hundred people for free. (Exception: playing for just a few people, the year it rained and got moved inside.) Owner Jeff Kahn knows how badly musicians can get treated, so he makes sure to feed and otherwise take good care of the folk singer-songwriters and alt-rock, jazz, experimental, Deadhead, and other soloists and groups who play gigs at the Cyber. As a result, bands not fitting my stereotype will drive across town or from neighboring states to play at West Fest. This year there were twelve different bands, six a day; I heard ten sets and a couple of partials. Not much crowd until the last (and longest) band each evening.
Saturday: Colleen Kattau, "Singer-Songwriter Showcase" (John Kolnazawich and others from the Binghamton community), The Spelunkers, Acoustic Expression (including Bob Jensen Jr. from Badweather Blues), Rev and Friends, and Kahn's house band, Monkeys Typing. As it got dark, the crowd finally filled and danced to the monkeys' familiar material, mostly Bob Dylan or Grateful Dead or a mix of one's song in the other's style. The Sunday part of West Fest 6 was even better. I missed most of Magnolia Drive, but enjoyed diverse stuff from area bands Whiskey Bones, Second Class Citizens, Driftwood, and Bach Choy. Then was the highlight of the weekend. I don't know what happened, maybe just one of those serendipitous whims, but Jeff suggested that three local brass players (saxophone, trumpet, slide trombone) come back up after playing with Bach Choy to sit in with this groove/funk/rock band from New Jersey called Bohemian Sunrise. At first glance one might question whether the combination could click, without at least a run-through of each song together. But the band is fine and these three locals (Robert Weinberger on sax, Dennis Martin on trombone, and I don't have the trumpeterís name) are first-rate. On songs from diverse sources (John Lennon's "Come Together", Bob Marley's "Soul Shakedown Party", a Carlos Santana instrumental), the brass guys quickly coordinated supporting music, and when the lead was thrown they played strong, vibrant music based on the songs' themes. More impressive was their work on Bohemian Sunrise originals. The band has four main songwriters, and seven or more people making a lot of different sounds, but every time, "Kick Ass Brass" had figured out key and melody and rhythm by the end of the intro, were blowing support by the end of the first verse, blew counterpoint by the end of the first chorus, and were ready for three solos after the first three choruses, solos that included and played around with the original music they'd just heard. This was my Collaboration of the Year... maybe the collaboration of my lifetime. Bohemian Sunrise has come up to Cyber Café three times since then, with one or more of the horn masters around for part of each show. All have been fun. Most of each show has been excellent. Vocalist Adina DeFelice missed one gig, which was a loss, as she has a really expressive delivery. Brothers Ed Clark (guitar including making difficult combinations look and sound super smooth) and Dom Clark (rock drum kit) do great jobs every time I've heard them. A lot of the songs are written by bassist "Gentle D" Dustin Blackshear or keyboardist Jimi Chiara. I haven't checked all the credits yet, but it sure feels like those two sing leads on their own songs. I like the organic feel of the hand-drumming by Chris Blumberg. More guitar from Joe Brady enriches the overall sound and adds some nice leads here and there. Sometimes one of a few longtime friends might join in on hand drums or guitar or whatever. So that's too many people to share the tiny Cyber Café West stage with three brass players, but it was wonderful on the stage rigged up in the parking lot for West Fest. People danced to originals and to old classics.
The other festival I was able to enjoy was Blues on a Bridge, the annual many-many-band event near downtown Binghamton (a mile from the American Civic Association shootings three days ago). They moved the stage and most of the crowd off the bridge this year, to its north end beside the Susquehanna just before the Chenango meets it. Lots of local bands, mostly with at least some blues flavor but also with rock, bluegrass, funk, folk, and stuff. One big touring act, I think it was Billy Preston, gave a strong show and got people dancing on a nice summer night. Everybody else was locals or came from one or two counties away. Every band I heard did at least a good job, and most was excellent. For most of the day, fewer people danced than in recent years on the bridge, but a big crowd was enjoying the music just hanging out in lawn chairs. One notable bit was Binghamton's mayor Matt Ryan playing harmonica backed by one of the local bands. Other people complained about the growth in spending and taxes in the budget he had just proposed, but my gripe is that he played "Stormy Monday" again, the same song he played the last couple of years. Most big electrified bands got just 40-minute quickie sets; most solo artists or acoustic duets only played 15 minutes while the main stage was getting instruments swapped out. So I donít feel that most bands got to get into their best flow or show off much of their range. Still, I love it.
Another benefit I got from Blues on the Bridge is reconnecting with bands I used to hear but didn't keep up with. Some examples this year included String of Pearls, Randy McStine, the Riolo Brothers Blues Band, and the Idiomatic Desecrators side project of "Jamie O" Osterhout (bassist for the Parlor Cats). All of these reclaimed my interest enough that I went to their full-length bar shows and enjoyed them, except for the Desecrators which might not have played a public gig yet. I got rocked and got laughing from a prerelease cut off their CD Hit the Honky, "a tale of post-industrial dysfunction and woe." I dig the hardcore punk on acoustic guitar in "I Bought a Bird"; I'll never hear the words "Polly want a cracker" the same way as long as I live. Despite a very slow start, I managed to hear three bands a lot, around a dozen times each: the ("The!") String Band described above, and the two bands whose 2007 releases I reviewed here in TAP in 2008: the Parlor Cats (issue 314) and Badweather Blues (issue 317). I got to enjoy the four national talent shows and two festivals already discussed, several new bands came to my attention, I heard musicians I thought I'd never hear again, and I heard bands after gaps of years. Chasing music to places like Waverly, Brackney, Dryden, and Norwich, I had very few hassles and a whole lot of good times. I didn't buy one bit of big-industry music, just local CDs. So 2008 was a good year.
Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883-9712
((Thanks, Mike, very cool, I've been really poor at listening to new music lately. But I love reading about yours. Any other comments out there? The beginning of the year baseball commentary is a bit convoluted and I don't have it all in the right order, but here it is....))


Warren Goesle (Monday, April 6, 2009 11:06:37 AM)
You'd think that an Opening Day, even in Chicago, wouldn't get snowed out on April 6th. Out here in the boonies we had to get to 40 today. An auspicious start to the season.
So let me get it started, since you guys usually need prodding every year.
The Game has apparently changed. 37 home runs won a home run title last year. Speed and defense are much more important. ((You do realize that is because there are fewer steroids out there, right?)) However, it's still a 162-game schedule, so depth (ergo: money) is still as important, maybe even more so at pitching. So what does all this mean?
NL West: What will Manny do? Grab headlines for most of the year and appear in ESPN highlights is my guess. Some good, some bad. Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Colorado. The last 3 all have 75 wins or less.
NL Central: to quote every Star Wars movie ever made: I've got a bad feeling about this. St. Louis, Chicago, Houston, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh. Houston gets to .500. Cubs lose it Mets-style on the last weekend.
NL East: Omar is still in New York, so I'll say Philadelphia, Atlanta (WC), Florida, New York, Washington.
In a wild playoff season, Arizona beats Atlanta in the NLCS.
AL West: having underestimated the Angels 2 years in a row I'll just pick them to win it. Los Angeles, Oakland, Texas, Seattle. Oakland is better, but doesn't get within 10 games.
AL Central: the most interesting race, although I would hesitate to say (unlike some) that it's the deepest division. Perhaps anyone except the Royals can win, but I think we're talking about 85 wins taking this one. Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Kansas City.
AL East: I have heard rational arguments for all of `the big 3' World Series. While Tampa may have the initial advantage, as the season wears on the Yankees' and Red Sox' money for replacements wins out. New York, Boston (WC), Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Toronto.
After a bailout from ESPN the Yankees and Red Sox play an epic 7-game ALCS, with a full-length movie to follow (starring Kevin Costner as Joe Girardi, Will Smith as Derek Jeter and Pee Wee Herman as the disgruntled Red Sox fan).
In a surprise, the Yankees beat the Diamondbacks in 6. All the Yankees but Joba Chamberlain retire.
Other notes: 16 or 18 years ago, as I was living in Indy, I remarked on the first time 4 members of the Andretti family qualified for the Indy 500 by saying that at some point in the future 32 of the 33 starters would be named `Andretti' and the winner would *still* be named `Unser' I was watching the coverage on the NCAA Men's basketball tourney.
The last time the Blackhawks made the Stanley Cup playoffs was before my 6-year old was born. He seems excited.
Ok, your turns.
Goz


Rick Desper (Mon, 6 Apr 2009 09:38:36 -0700 (PDT))
I am not terribly impressed by the Yankees' signings. CC Sabathia has pitched a lot of games against the Red Sox, and has a very high ERA in those games. Also, his weight problems get worse as he gets older. Teixeira is a good bat, but OTOH ARod is having hip problems which kind of balance that out. Joba ought to have a good season, but we'll see if he can pitch a large number of innings. It's not that easy to do even for a young guy with a strong arm (see Lester against the Rays).
I'm more worried about the Rays than the Yankees. Youth really does matter in baseball, esp. in this post-steroids era. And I have to keep reminding myself that Evan Longoria was only a rookie last season.
The Sox are going to have to eventually face up to the fact that they drove the best right-handed hitter in baseball out of town. Whether they feel justified in doing so is immaterial - their lineup is not as good as it was last summer, and that's going to still be a problem no matter how many walks Youkilis draws. Ortiz has been off form for going on eighteen months now and I am in general pessimistic.
I'll have to read up a bit to have thoughts on the other divisions.
Rick


Rick Desper (Wed, 15 Apr 2009 21:01:21 -0700 (PDT))
I'll chime in here...
AL East: Tampa winning the division
AL Central: Detroit
AL West: Angels
Wild Card: Toronto
I think Tampa is the soundest of these teams. The Angels will be fine in the long run. I think the Yankees have overpaid for the wrong players (esp. Sabathia). I don't have faith in the Red Sox hitting. I was going to pick the White Sox again, but decided that wasn't different enough from 2008, so why not the Tigers?
NL East: Philly
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Padres
Wild card: Marlins
The Cubs race to the World Series, sweeping the first two rounds, and then have a 3-0 lead in the World Series against the Blue Jays, and a 32-0 lead in the 9th inning of Game 4 before they have an epic collapse, losing Game 4. They then similarly post 30+ run leads in Games 5, 6, and 7 before choking all of the leads, but finally rally in the 35th inning of Game 7 to win the World Series.
Meanwhile, Fox runs a "spontaneous" alternate World Series tournament involving the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, and Dodgers, ignoring the fact that these teams lost their respective qualifying competitions, and then claims that these teams some how represent a mandate of the people.
MVP - AL: Longoria; NL: Pujols
Cy Young - AL: Halladay; NL: Santana
Rookie: I have no idea.
Rick


Warren Goesle
On another note, as long as I have Red Sox Nation handy, are the Red Sox going to petition to give up the idea of the WBC, given their injuries?
Heck, I didn't even know that you could sprain a beard... Goz
((I am just glad Dustin is proclaimed 100% healthy now. This WBC is close to a complete farce. If Daisuke breaks down this year I will be very upset at the very existence of the country of Japan.... ;-) [[Last minute note: Daisuke presently is on the Disabled List... what can we do to make Japan pay???]] Seriously, they played to win and won both times. They are very good. The US did not and did not. Not sour grapes, a fact. Dustin COULD have kept going, but the decision (correct in my view) was to pull him out and have him 100% ready today..... well, tomorrow.))


Warren Goesle (Wednesday, April 15, 2009 10:27:55 PM)
Still haven't heard your predictions. Are you awaiting the All-Star break?
Goz
((Sorry, They've been ready. As of this morning, the AL East is in a PERFECT reverse of where they will finish, with each one being almost exactly .100 apart on percentage.))
((AL East: Boston, Tampa Bay (WC), NY Yankees, Toronto, Baltimore.))
((SO is the AL Central: Cleveland, Minnesota, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Kansas City.))
((And for the fun of it, so is the west: LA Angels, Oakland, Texas, Seattle.))
((THE NL is more on track.... East: Florida and Philly 1-2 with the other getting the WC, Atlanta, NY Mets, Washington (needs to have relegation..... back to AAA).))
((Central: St. Louis, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Houston, Pittsburgh.))
((West: LA Dodgers, San Francisco, San Diego, Colorado, Arizona.))
((Florida and Philly for the Series as well, Florida winning it. Let's go with a all-Florida series as Tampa Bay gets back there and wins it all this year. That's my head, my heart still says the Red Sox.....))
((OK, awards.... MVP: I agree Longoria is the best AL choice, but to name another name, Miguel Cabrera is the dark horse. Pujols looks like he's all the way back for the NL choice too, how about Alfonso Soriano as a dark horse.))
((Rookies: Emilio Bonifacio from Florida qualifies (now that he escaped the hellhole in DC) I think doesn't he for NL. No idea in AL.))
((Cy Young: Johan Santana in the NL, with dark horse being Josh Johnson of Florida (Marlins are gonna kick butt!) Josh Beckett in the AL, with dark horse being between Jarrod Washburn on Seattle or Kevin Millwood from Texas.))


Warren Goesle (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 2:25:53 PM)
Is this in general, or do you just think the Red Sox will lose the next 8?
In other notes, an email exchange I had recently with someone more die-hard about the Cubs than Rick is about the Red Sox...
Goz: So Milton Bradley has been suspended, benched and isn't talking to the media (and it's not even May yet). Derek Lee isn't hitting (like everyone else on the team). The defense is shaky. Pujols might break the home run record this year. Question: what day should I sit in the bleachers with a sign reading: "Wait 'Til Next Year!!!"?
SS: Bradley's gonna end up as the DH for the Angels and they'll be playing against the Cubs in October. Fukudome will continue to hit after the All-Star break. Big-Z and Dempster will both be 20 game winners and will be 1-2 in the Cy Young balloting. Don't lose faith just yet, the economy is just about fixed, and Obama is looking for a new challenge.
Goz: Thanks. I needed your optimism today. I'll ask for it again in September. Given that Obama is a Sox fan, just what would he do?
SS: Once Obama recognizes that his Glorious South Siders have no chance, he will reach across the aisle.
In other, other news, will this be the year for an "Original Six" Stanley Cup Final? And if so, is it Bruins/Blackhawks, or Red Wings/Rangers?
Goz


Rick Desper (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 2:10 PM)
The Rangers are done as of tonight. I wouldn't be surprised by a Red Wings/Bruins final. Goz, your friend needs to be informed that Obama is a White Sox fan.
Rick


Warren Goesle (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 3:20:46 PM)
Rick, You need to broaden your geographic horizons to include "flyover territory". Around here "Sox fan" means the White variety. (Local usage: "The Sox are play ing the Red Sox tonight..." Also: "The Sox are playing the north-siders today at Wrigley.")
Goz


Rick Desper
You think I would ever refer to the White Sox as "the Sox"? Surely, you jest. I'm just saying, the odds of Obama helping the Cubs are about the same as the odds of Arlen Specter being a meaningful member of the Democratic caucus. He's a SOX FAN! Your friend's comment make about as much sense as "yeah, I know she's a marsupial, but I'm expecting a full-term pregnancy".
Rick


Rick Desper (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 11:29 AM)
I think it's weird that the Red Sox haven't lost since I sent this email. It was sent in the middle of the first game of their current winning streak.
Rick, rick_desper of yahoo.com


Warren Goesle (Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:41:46 PM)
Have you not just doomed them to an 8-game losing streak? I know it would be that way were I to write such about the Cubs...
Goz
((He doesn't speak for me!!!! X X X))


Rick Desper
Nah. CANNOT HAPPEN! :)
Rick
((We are going to have to shoot you for breaking the spell. It is YOUR fault that the three errors cost the Red Sox the game. Lash, lash, lash with the wet noodle.))


Rick Desper (Wed, 29 Apr 2009 11:10:53 -0700 (PDT))
Well, I figured now is the time to find out, once and for all, if the universe revolves around me, just as I've always believed. :)
Rick
((Oh so true, and we are SO lucky to have you here as a result, so we can watch the universe close up. More recently, Rick has been the author of two Bruins/Celtics/Red Sox Trifectas. You gotta watch them all, Rick, no matter how much sleep you lose. Could we win THREE championships this year? Stay tuned, it's all up to Rick.))


Warren Goesle (Fri, 8 May 2009 12:15:21 -0500)
So given the events of yesterday the floor is open. Any conspiracy theories that we haven't heard before?
Goz, wgoesle of comcast.net
((Well, if Rick being Master of the Universe isn't a conspiracy theory, I don't know what is? But presumably you refer to Rick being Rick.... no Manny being Manny! There is no conspiracy and my opinions of the steroid era remain completely unchanged. I wish someone would sign Barry Bonds again and let him play, everyone is to blame, no one is excluded. And maybe the game is cleaner now. The evidence seems to be expanding apace with no sign of letting up, but Roger Clemens still says he was clean. You all believe him, I'm sure. So, again, I say. Waste intellectual energy and remove some of your fun of watching and following sports if you want, but if you're smart, you'll do like me and stop worrying. The rules are now and always have been the rules. Whatever rules you have in any game will be tested by someone at some point or another. A sport needs some people who are willing to do the extremely hard work of developing balanced rules that reduce the gaming that players can do, especially in the area of performance enhancement. But hey, performance enhancement is a continuum, rules are imperfect, and one man's performance enhancement is another person's reasonable measures to help their team win. The current lack of home runs suggests that some of the recent efforts to control some classes of performance enhancement seems to be hitting the sluggers where it hurts. The proof is in the pudding. But there always have been eras in baseball where the relative strengths and performances of hitters vs. pitchers varied in different ways. The reasons were many over the years. The key is that the rules were the rules and the enforcement was the enforcement at each point in time. Everyone faced the rules of their era. I suspect I would never have injected myself with steroids, were I in that situation. I can only suspect though, running that by my experience, or lack thereof, with any and all recreational drugs that were illegal at the time. But I think about my consumption of alcohol, and I think about the continuum of rules, and I realize myself that this is basically a crock. So, life goes on, I feel badly for Barry Bonds and the choice he was forced to make. I realize that puts me at odds with 99% of the sports fans in this country. I say that your sense of contexualism is strange, you think I'm strange. And THAT is a conspiracy theory!!!))
THE ABYSSINIAN PRINCE GAMES SECTION
"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 world.std.com". If anyone has an interest in having an E-Mail address listed so people can negotiate with you by computer, just let me know.
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.
Standby lists:
Mike Barno, Dick Martin, Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Glenn Petroski, Steve Emmert, Mark Kinney, Vince Lutterbie, Eric Brosius, Paul Rauterberg, Bob Osuch, Doug Kent, Sean O'Donnell, Vern Parker, Heath Gardner, Paul Kenny, and Jeff O'Donnell stand by for regular Diplomacy.
Let me know if you want on or off these lists, especially OFF. Standbies get the szine for free and receive my personal thanks.


GAME OPENING INFORMATION
Can we get back to these game openings below? We just need a few more people for a couple of these.
I am willing to open another new game of REGULAR Diplomacy if there is enough interest!!! Doug Kent, Fred Wiedemeyer, Brad Wilson, and Shaun Thompson start the list, who would like to join them???
I also am starting a game of the variant I designed, Spy Diplomacy. Signups for that are now open. Bruce Edwards and Eric Ozog are signed up. I published the rules again recently!
And since Colonia is over, Harold Reynolds is looking to start something else. Harold has been updating the Diplomacy A to Z, go check it out at: http://www.badpets.net/Diplomacy/AtoZ/index.html
Also, I am going to design some postal rules for Devil Take the Hindmost, and we have an opening here: Bruce Edwards, Mike Barno, and Eoghan Barry are 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..... I've GOT to do this now, Eoghan is getting tired of waiting....
Right now, the other thing going is the Modern Diplomacy game with Wings. Sean O'Donnell, Jeff O'Donnell, Steve Koehler, Art Schleinkofer, Bob Holt, Rick Desper, Alexander Woo, and Dave Partridge are signed up for that. I will start it when I get a full complement of players, we only need TWO more! Only two, just TWO more...... come on.


THE PHIL REYNOLDS MEMORIAL: 2006B, Regular Diplomacy
THE DUE DATE FOR SPRING 1904 IS MAY 30TH, 2009
Winter 1903
AUSTRIA (Burgess): bld a vie; has a VIE, a GAL, a TRI, f GRE, a CON, a SER, f EAS.
ENGLAND (James): R f mid-IRI; has f ENG, f NAO, a BEL, f IRI, f NWY.
FRANCE (Williams): has f MID, a BRE, f POR, a PIC, a MUN.
GERMANY (Ellinger): R a mun-RUH; bld a kie; has a KIE, a RUH,
a BER, f HOL, a SWE.
ITALY (Crow): has a TYO, f WES, a SIL, a MAR, f NAF.
RUSSIA (Barno): rem a ukr; has f BLA, a LVN, f RUM, a SEV, f STP(SC).
TURKEY (Wiedemeyer): has a ARM, a SMY.


Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: David Burgess, 101 Laurel Lane, Queensbury, NY 12804
(518) 761-6687, burgesscd of roadrunner.com or dburgess of glensfallshosp.org
ENGLAND: Drew James, 3644 Whispering Woods Terrace, Baldwinsville, NY 13027
(315) 652-1956, kjames01 of twcny.rr.com
FRANCE: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (661) 297-3947,
wllmsfmly of earthlink.net or dwilliams of fontana.org ($5)
GERMANY: Marc Ellinger, 751 Turnberry Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109
mellinger of blitzbardgett.com or ellingermc of aol.com
ITALY: John Crow, 946 S. Medalist Circle Plano, TX 75023-2851,
(214) 532-1418, johnny.crow of hotmail.com
RUSSIA: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883, (607) 589-4906
mpbarno of lightlink.com ((BUT NOTE currently not able to access this))
TURKEY: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA
CANADA T6T 1N1, (780) 465-6432, wiedem of telus.net or wiedem of shaw.ca


Game Notes:
1) I know this has been horrible on my part keeping this on time. I think I can fix that now and get us back up. I am going to skip Memorial Day weekend upcoming though. Please try to get orders in on time.


Press:


SPIRALS OF PARANOIA: 2005A, Regular Diplomacy
THE DUE DATE FOR SPRING 1908 IS MAY 30TH, 2009
Winter 1907
AUSTRIA (Rauterberg): R a rom-nap; rem a gre; has a NAP, f GOL.
ENGLAND (Wiedemeyer): has f POR.
FRANCE (Tretick): has a BRE, f SPA(SC), a GAS, f MAR, f ENG, a BUR, f IRI.
GERMANY (Ozog for Tallman): bld a kie; has a KIE, a TYO, a BUD, a VIE, a MUN,
a ROM, f SKA, a TUS, a BEL, f NAO.
ITALY (Kent): bld a ven; has a VEN, a APU, a SER, a ALB.
RUSSIA (Sundstrom): bld waived; PLAYS ONE SHORT; has f SEV, a RUM, a BUL, a ARM, a MOS.
TURKEY (Biehl): rem f naf, f wes; has a ANK, f SMY, f BLA, f TYH.


Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221,
(414) 281-2339 (E-Mail) trauterberg of wi.rr.com
ENGLAND: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA CANADA T6T 1N1,
(780) 465-6432, wiedem of telus.net or wiedem of shaw.ca
FRANCE: Buddy Tretick, 5023 Sewell's Pointe Way, Fredericksburg, VA 22407, (540) 898-3386
cell (540) 226-5571 (E-Mail) berniebuddy33 of aol.com
GERMANY: Terry Tallman, PO Box 782, Clinton, WA 98236, (360) 331-5698 ($2)
terryt of whidbey.net
GERMANY: Temporary Standby is Eric Ozog, PO Box 1138, Granite Falls, WA 98252-1138,
(360) 691-4264, ElfEric of Juno.com
ITALY: Doug Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228
dougray30 of yahoo.com
RUSSIA: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882,
Matt.Sundstrom of bbdoch.com or mattandzoe of earthlink.net
TURKEY: John Biehl, #8 - 11530 84th Avenue, Delta, BRITISH COLUMBIA, V4C 2M1 CANADA,
(604) 816-0460 (cell) ($7); jrb of dccnet.com


Game Notes:
1) Terry is still having some medical problems, Eric Ozog is continuing to negotiate and submit orders for Terry until further notice. Eric originally brought Terry into the Diplomacy hobby all those many years ago, and so I'm glad he's agreed to do this.
2) I know this has been horrible on my part keeping this on time. I think I can fix that now and get us back up. I am going to skip Memorial Day weekend upcoming though. Please try to get orders in on time.
3) A German concession and a Germany/Turkey draw are both proposed. Please vote with your Spring orders. If you fail to vote, you veto both.


Press:
(IN REAL LIFE): The intrepid sailors in Austrian ghost ship GOL would have lost their teeth due to scurvy by now. Not to mention having starved....


FLIP FLOP: 2003G, Regular Diplomacy
THE DUE DATE FOR SUMMER 1911 IS MAY 30TH, 2009
THE DUE DATE FOR FALL 1911 IS JUNE 20TH, 2009
Spring 1911
AUSTRIA (Wiedemeyer): NMR, BRAD WILSON CALLED AS STANDBY; a BUD h, a tri h (d r:tyo,otb),
a GAL h (d r:war,boh,sil,otb), a MOS h, a VIE h.
ENGLAND (Kent): f lvp-IRI, f edi-NTH, a DEN s f nwy-swe, a KIE S FRENCH a ruh-mun,
f ENG S FRENCH f bre-mid, f nwy-SWE, f nth-HEL.
FRANCE (McHugh): f bre-MID, f MAR S f mid-spa(sc), a ruh-MUN, a BUR S a ruh-mun,
f mid-SPA(SC), a spa-POR.
GERMANY (Sundstrom): f BAL-den, a sil-BER, f stp(sc)-GOB, a lvn-STP.
TURKEY (Levinson): a SEV-mos, a VEN S a alb-tri, f AEG C a bul-pie, a UKR-gal,
f WES-mid, a bul-PIE, f ION C a bul-pie, f GOL C a bul-pie, a alb-TRI, f TYH C a bul-pie,
a RUM S a ukr-gal, a SER S a alb-tri.


Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA CANADA T6T 1N1,
(780) 465-6432, wiedem of telus.net or wiedem of shaw.ca
AUSTRIA: Standby is Brad Wilson, Apt. 3-C, 1115 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
bwdolphin146 of yahoo.com
ENGLAND: Doug Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228
dougray30 of yahoo.com
FRANCE: Jack McHugh, 810 School Lane, Folcroft, PA 19032, (856) 456-5984,
jwmchughjr of gmail.com
GERMANY: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882,
Matt.Sundstrom of bbdoch.com or mattandzoe of earthlink.net
ITALY: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (661) 297-3947,
wllmsfmly of earthlink.net or dwilliams of fontana.org
RUSSIA: Sean O'Donnell, 1044 Wellfleet Drive, Grafton, OH 44044, (440) 926-0230,
sean_o_donnell of hotmail.com
TURKEY: Alexandre Levinson, Beeklaan 504, 2562BP Den Haag THE NETHERLANDS, don't need phone,
al of tolkin.nl ($5)


Game Notes:
1) I know this has been horrible on my part keeping this on time. I think I can fix that now and get us back up. I am going to skip Memorial Day weekend upcoming though. Please try to get orders in on time.
2) Despite repeated attempts to contact Fred (difficult during hockey playoffs?) I didn't have orders from him. We'll call Brad Wilson to standby, maybe Doug will be happy because we'll start communicating in the game he and I are in together. With the Austrian retreats, if Fred doesn't make them, then Brad will take over.


Press:


SECRETS: 1999D, Regular Diplomacy
THE DUE DATE FOR SUMMER 1925 IS MAY 30TH, 2009
THE DUE DATE FOR FALL 1925 IS JUNE 20TH, 2009
Spring 1925
ENGLAND (Kent): f eng-mid (d r:wal,otb).
FRANCE (Sasseville): f mid-GAS, f tun-ION, a PAR S TURKISH a bel-pic.
GERMANY (Barno): a BUL-mos (imp).
RUSSIA (Osuch): f stp(sc)-LVN, a WAR S a ukr, f NAO h, a LON h, f cly-LVP,
f IRI S f nth-eng, a UKR s a war, a KIE S a ber, a ruh-BEL, f nth-ENG, a HOL S a ruh-bel, a BER S a kie.
TURKEY (Linsey): a smy-ARM, f con-BLA, a RUM-ukr, a GAL-ukr, f TYH S f wes, a ser-RUM,
a BUR S a mun, a SIL S a mun, f WES S f naf-mid, a MUN S a sil, f GOL S f mar-spa(sc), a BRE S a bel-pic,
a TYO S a mun, f naf-MID, a pie-MAR, f mar-SPA(SC), a bel-PIC.


Addresses of the Participants
ENGLAND: Doug Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228
dougray30 of yahoo.com
FRANCE: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 481-4280 ($0)
rolands6 of verizon.net
GERMANY: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883-9712, (607) 589-4906
mpbarno of lightlink.com ((BUT NOTE currently not able to access this))
RUSSIA: Bob Osuch, 19137 Midland Avenue, Mokena, IL 60448, (708) 478-3885
ROsuch4082 of aol.com
TURKEY: Bruce Linsey, PO Box 234, Kinderhook, NY 12106
GonzoHQ of aol.com


Game Notes:
1) We have a proposal for a DIAS. Please vote with your Summer orders. If you fail to vote, it vetoes the proposal.
2) I know this has been horrible on my part keeping this on time. I think I can fix that now and get us back up. I am going to skip Memorial Day weekend upcoming though. Please try to get orders in on time.
3) Note that Roland has changed his E-Mail address.


Press:
(GERMANY to RUSSIA): A couple of years ago, I started a boardgaming group at work. Now they're all gabbing about the composition of Magic decks, while I sit and wish I had more than one army. Sigh.


CAST NO SHADOWS: Breaking Away, Designer's Rules
Rules at: http://diplom.org/DipPouch/Postal/Zines/TAP/Tinamou/rules/BreakingAway.htm
DUE DATE FOR TURN 10 IS MAY 30TH, 2009
Turn 9
81 (no replenishment) Empty
-S-P-R-I-N-T- -F-I-N-I-S-H- -L-I-N-E-
80 (no replenishment) Empty
79 (no replenishment) Empty
78 (no replenishment) Empty
77 (no replenishment) Empty
76 (no replenishment) Empty
75 (no replenishment) Empty
74 (no replenishment) Empty
73 (no replenishment) Empty
72 (no replenishment) Empty
71 (no replenishment) Empty
70 (no replenishment) Empty
69 (no replenishment) Empty
68 (replenish with a 3) Zorro
67 (no replenishment) Empty
66 (no replenishment) Empty
65 (no replenishment) Empty
64 (replenish with a 3) Rincewind, Wally
63 (no replenishment) Empty
62 (no replenishment) Empty
61 (no replenishment) Empty
60 (replenish with a 3) Gloria
59 (replenish with a 4) Drugs, Carrot, Travis
58 (replenish with a 7) Agnus, Xavier
57 (replenish with a 9) Granny
56 (no replenishment) Empty
55 (replenish with a 3) Death, Kyoto, Yorick, Bowie
54 (replenish with a 7) Mideast, Kyrie, Dragutinovic
53 (replenish with a 10) Sanctus, Water
52 (no replenishment) Empty
51 (no replenishment) Empty
50 (replenish with a 3) Krstajic, Vidic, Bonham
49 (replenish with a 6) Crockett
48 (replenish with a 7) Gavrancic,


Addresses of the Participants - Their Team and Their Cards
TEAM 1 (Rick Desper): rick_desper of yahoo.com (5 points)
Team Name: The Turtle Moves; Captained by Cut-My-Own-Throat Dibbler
A: Rincewind the Wizzard 16 8 8 3 (14)
B: Granny Weatherwax 11 4 9 (6)
C: Captain Carrot 15 3 4 (11)
D: Death 3 3 3 (3)
(Rincewind with the Luggage, Granny on Her Broom, Carrot of the City Watch, and Death is just DEATH!)
Total Replenishments: 12+58+18+15+33+33+18+28+19 = 234
TEAM 2 (Tom Howell): off-the-shelf of olympus.net (4 points)
Team Name: Never Ending Worry Source; Manager: Rumour; Team Captain: Ye Olde Manager
A: Water 15 4 10 10 (4)
B: Kyoto 17 3 3 (3)
C: Mideast 17 6 7 (10)
D: Drugs 13 11 4 (11)
Total Replenishments: 12+35+37+44+30+22+16+30+24 = 250
TEAM 3 ((David Partridge): rebhuhn of rocketmail.com (0 points)
Team Name: Famous Four
A: Krstajic 15 16 6 3 (6)
B: Vidic 13 7 3 (6)
C: Gavrancic 3 5 7 (3)
D: Dragutinovic 3 11 7 (11)
Total Replenishments: 12+35+40+28+13+18+16+28+20 = 210
TEAM 4 (Brendan Whyte): obiwonfive of hotmail.com (3 points)
Team Name: The Reverse Alphabeticists
A: Zorro 7 6 4 3 (7)
B: Yorick 3 3 3 (3)
C: Xavier 3 5 7 (8)
D: Wally 3 3 3 (7)
Total Replenishments: 12+26+24+28+28+38+17+18+16 = 207
TEAM 5 (Alexander Woo): aswoo of yahoo.com (10 points)
Team Name: Just Ordinary; Manager: Credo
A: Agnus 12 7 5 7 (3)
B: Sanctus 4 11 10 (10)
C: Kyrie 14 6 7 (10)
D: Gloria 16 3 3 (14)
Total Replenishments: 12+44+22+17+22+42+28+25+27 = 239
TEAM 6 (Andy York): wandrew88 of gmail.com (17 points)
Team Name: Alamo
A: Crockett 15 4 5 6 (3)
B: Travis 4 4 4 (3)
C: Bowie 5 6 3 (4)
D: Bonham 3 10 3 (6)
Total Replenishments: 12+12+12+60+20+22+21+19+16 = 194


Game Notes:
1) The rules are on the TAP website in the Tinamou section. Ask if you have any questions. Up above in parentheses is the card you played to get to where you are in the field. The replenishment card is the last card in your list. Be careful to note that the card you played (the one in parentheses) is not available for you, for next turn. Just for fun, I'm going to keep track of total replenishment, by turn, which is a rough measure of how the teams are doing. Of course, it is lining up to get across the sprint and final lines in the right places that really counts. We can calculate an "efficiency score" later, which will be the ratio of scoring points per replenishment. If I'm predicting how the future of this will come out, a 10% score will be really tremendous for this measure.
2) I know this has been horrible on my part keeping this on time. I think I can fix that now and get us back up. I am going to skip Memorial Day weekend upcoming though. Please try to get orders in on time.


Press:
(TURTLE COMMENTARY): Death sees himself riding next to Yorick - again! He taps Yorick on the shoulder and says "Well, I suspect we'll be riding together for quite some time." Yorick immediately dies and collapses into a skeleton, at which point a thin man in tights jumps from the crowd, grabs the skull, sighs, adopts a serious visage and starts up "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him Horatio. 'Twas a man of infinite jest".
Annoyed with the tedious posing, the thin actor is assaulted by several fisherman, who beat him senseless with salmon.
Seeing what happened to Yorick, Rincewind shouts "Yikes" and pedals away into the distance, leaving his teammates wondering what is up. Granny and Carrot make a token effort to keep up the pace, but give up the pursuit quickly.


Personal Note to You:



File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.85.
On 14 May 2009, 20:34.