March 24 1999 RussCon Report

17 players, 14 games, the usual good time had by all...

On Monday 30 of us played LaserQuest which was good fun. Sadly, they were unable to provide us with a summary print out of all the game results, so I cannot provide a detailed breakdown of the results. It was a fun outing, and now William's proposing paintball.

Remember that Thursday April 1 is the Thief of Baghdad, the silent film classic with live music. I have tickets available in the 2nd row for $10. Bring money to next RussCon if you're interested. (Or if you're unable to make it next Wednesday, let me know and we can work alternate arrangements.) See for more info.

Thanks to my special guest correspondent JP for last week's delightful RussCon Report from an alternate universe! And raspberries to JP for forgetting about LaserQuest Monday night!


Game Results:

Palmyra 4 Doug 3 Marty 1 Alfred -1 JP -3
Samarkand 3 James 2 JonathanC 0 Steve -2
Illuminati 6 Jeffles 5 Daniel -1 JeffF -1 RussW -1 Jay -1 Harry -1
Instinct 6 Daniel 5 Jay 3 Jeffles 1 JeffF -1 Harry -4 RussW -4
Earthquake 4 JP 3 JeffF 1 WendyWhe -1 RussW -3
Earthquake 3 JP 2 WendyWhe 0 RussW -2
DevilBunny 5 WendyWhe 4 JonathanC 2 Steve 0 Doug -2 James -4
Samarkand 5 Marty 4 JP 2 Alfred 0 JonathanB -2 Brady -4
Instinct 3 JP 2 RussW 0 WendyWhe -2
HoneyBears 4 Steve 3 JeffF 1 JonathanC -1 Brady -3
Acquire 5 Doug 4 Jeffles 2 Marty 0 Daniel -2 JonathanB -4
Can'tStop 3 Brady 2 JeffF 0 William -2
DevilBunny 5 Brady 4 RussW 2 JP 0 William -2 JeffF -4
Alibi 4 Daniel 3 Doug 1 Jeffles -1 JonathanC -3

Alfred brought the new edition of the original Illuminati, which was a fun trip down memory lane for many of us. I owned the original little pocket box edition, and it mysteriously vanished years ago to my regret. Turns out we were all a bit rusty on the rules, and it took a couple hours to finish. I liked the original smaller cards with black & white line drawings more than the new-fangled brightly colored cards.

Wendy brought Earthquake, which is another of the new WOTC card games analogous to Instinct. Simple fun rules, fairly fast playing, and not collectible, they are the anti-Magic!

Devil Bunny Needs a Ham continues to be popular. It's rather fascinating to watch the pulsating blob of chefs slowly climb with their seemingly Brownian random walk toward the top of the skyscraper.


Evening's Soundtrack:

An evening of morose music, courtesy of The Smiths:

Hatful of Hollow
Louder than Bombs
Meat is Murder
The Queen is Dead
The Smiths (self titled)


Rank ratings:
 0.4545 Marty (3 games played)
 0.4286 Doug (4)
 0.4118 Jeffles (4)
 0.3333 JP (6)
 0.2941 Daniel (4)
 0.2000 Jay (2)
 0.1111 Steve (3)
 0.0909 WendyWhe (4)
-0.0769 Brady (4)
-0.1429 Alfred (2)
-0.1667 JonathanC (4)
-0.1818 JeffF (6)
-0.3333 James (2)
-0.3810 RussW (6)
-0.5000 Harry (2)
-0.6667 William (2)
-0.7500 JonathanB (2)

New Win ratings:
 0.3571 Doug (4)
 0.3529 Daniel (4)
 0.3077 Brady (4)
 0.2222 JP (6)
 0.1818 Marty (3)
 0.1667 James (2)
 0.1176 Jeffles (4)
 0.1111 Steve (3)
 0.0909 WendyWhe (4)
-0.2000 Jay (2)
-0.2000 Harry (2)
-0.2500 JonathanB (2)
-0.2727 JeffF (6)
-0.2857 Alfred (2)
-0.2857 RussW (6)
-0.3333 JonathanC (4)
-0.3333 William (2)

The 2 people at the top of the partial order are Doug and Marty, so they are the Devils next week! JP and I share the Dedicated Award (JeffF is disqualified for bailing in the middle of Devil Bunny Needs a Ham).


Civil Rights Activism:

The RussCon Report normally steers clear of political issues since reasonable people can heatedly disagree on many issues. However, there are currently 2 mean-spirited and pernicious bills (HB 382 and HB 415) which can only be motivated by ignorance or hate. They would prevent gay and bisexual people from becoming adoptive or foster parents, even of their own relatives! Indeed, they outlaw adoption even by straight parents if other people in the home are not straight! Read the March 19-25 Austin Chronicle ( for extensive info, or read this article from the Austin-American Statesman:

Some of us are deeply angered by the ignorant bigotry of these bills. I have no interest in being a parent, but they insult me when they imply I'm inherently unfit to raise kids simply because I'm bi. The reality of gay and bi parents is so far from the ludicrous paranoia of these bills' proponents. E.g., I saw a know-nothing anti-gay activist on television blathering about the dangers of gay parents bathing their infants -- sheesh, this demonizing stupidity would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous. There are happy kids, displaced from abusive "traditional" families, now being raised by loving same-sex parents. The only special risk children in non-traditional families might suffer is getting harassed by homophobic people like the proponents of this bill who pretend to be protecting children.

Then there is the practical matter that these bills would cost $10 million a year in intrusive investigations into candidate parents' sex lives, investigations which will also encourage even fewer people to apply for adoption. That money could be much better spent. There is a real shortage of people willing to adopt abused or disturbed children, so these "protective" bills are not doing these children any favors.

There is a nicely set up electronic petition against HB 382 and HB 415 at which you can sign (and several RussCon folks already have). Even more effective is writing polite brief letters to your representatives and our governor (who recently said "I'm against gay adoptions."). See the LGRL website for more info. There is a real danger of these bills becoming law! Kids could be taken out of good homes that they are happy in. Other kids could be delayed getting adopted by loving parents.

So if you've been thinking you were too apolitical and lazy lately, now's your chance to help make a difference... You might also consider getting friends from work or school to form a letter-writing group to help reinforce each others' good intentions.

Ok, I'm back down from the soapbox.


William, it was really nothing