Archive for October, 2018

Winner: Eric, followed by Frank the sports guy, Rosebud, Carole St. Martin, and Droppin’

Eric was able to barely hold off a posse of 4 players who closely trailed him throughout the game. Naturally tonight’s theme was Halloween and his knowledge that Dracula means “son of the devil” may have made the difference.

Mistress Daphne was replaced by Wanda, the wicked witch, as moderator tonight. My goodness, she was scary looking.

Rosebud and Pluto, recently returned from their tour of the Iberian Peninsula, served up some fine Portuguese Port, a nice taste to finish the evening.

Good Question!: In which country did Halloween originate?

Choices: a. Germany  b. Ireland  c. France  d. Romania

Answer: Ireland

This fooled most of us. When we think of Ireland we think of St. Patrick’s Day and fun and good spirits.

But there’s a fine story here, and it makes sense, once you learn the history.

To find the origin of Halloween, you have to look to the festival of Samhain in Ireland’s Celtic past.

The festival of Samhain is said to be over 2,000 years old and used to celebrate the passing from summer to winter. The Celts believed that during the festival of Samhaim the veil between this world and the next world was particularly thin, allowing spirits to pass between the two worlds on this night.

Many of our Halloween traditions like dressing up and pumpkin lights came from this Celtic festival.

Keeping the Evil Out

Folks disguised themselves using animal skins to protect against evil spirits on the prowl. People wore masks. They did this to confuse the spirits and hide from people who disliked them.

To keep the evil at bay during Samhain, bonfires would be lit. Animal bones were burnt in the fires; hence the origin of the name, ‘bone-fire’. Households would also carve scary faces into turnips and leave it at the doorstep to ward off evil spirits.

In early 20th century Ireland, trick or treating was known as ‘guising’ – rural people dressed up in straw masks and went visiting their neighbours. They would walk from house to house without speaking, to try to conceal their identity, just for fun.

Ireland’s best Halloween party is in Derry

While the origin of Halloween doesn’t lie specifically in Derry, the world’s biggest Halloween party is held in that city every year. More than 30,000 people take to the streets, most of them dressed as witches, ghouls, vampires and monsters from the Otherworld.

It’s a time when you’re almost certain to hear the Banshees screaming – assuming you can hear anything much above the marching bands, ceilidh music, hard rock and calypso as the carnival proceeds through the town. A spectacular fireworks display brings celebrations to a close.

Can’t think of Halloween without thinking of any one of the 11 movies, including this year’s:



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Winner (10/23): Rosebud, followed by Eric, Judge Judy, and Pluto

Tonight’s game ended in a four-way tie at the end of regulation. In the play off Judge Judy and Pluto faded early. Rosebud, recently returned from holiday in the Algarve was well rested, which served her well when the playoff with Eric went a grueling 10 rounds.

Here’s the question that finally ended it – The Sicilian, French, and Alekhine defense are commonly used in which game?

Eric answered bridge and Rosebud correctly answered chess. Game over.

Winner (10/16): Tall Paul, followed by Eric, Snowy, and Dundar.

Winner (10/02): Carol St. Martin, followed by Tall Paul, Almond Joy, Oh Donna, and Frank, the sports guy.


Winner (09/25): Adam, followed by Frank, the sports guy, and Tall Paul

Tonight’s winner was a young gun who had played in a high-stakes trivia game the night before in the big city. He joined us for our modest suburban game and Frank made him work for his win. Tied with Frank in regulation, he needed nine rounds in a playoff to finally win.

Adam said: It was nice to win, but more importantly, I beat my dad – Droppin’. Youth must be served.


Good Question!: Who said: “You can’t be real country unless you have a beer and an airline”?

Choices: a. Don the Con   b. Frank Zappa   c. Adolphus Busch   d. Gerard Heineken

Answer: Frank Zappa

Actually, the full quote was:  “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”

Mr. Zappa was known for his pithy quotes:

“Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.”

“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

“The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced.”

“One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.”

“Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read.”

When he wasn’t philosophizing, Mr. Zappa was making music.

“His music isn’t for all tastes. He knew this: He made it that way. While his peers and contemporaries were incorporating R&B and blues into their psych-out rock ‘n’ roll, Zappa played around with more esteemed forms of music, including jazz, classical and performance art-based collage. The music he made — with the Mothers of Invention, as a solo artist and on projects that aren’t so easily defined or classifiable — was almost always challenging.

Even a seemingly throwaway goof like ‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow’ incorporated musical twists and turns that would leave typical rock artists bruised after 30 seconds. Still, Zappa’s music found open-eared audiences among traditional rockers, classical and jazz fans, connoisseurs of outre music and, of course, totally stoned hippies. His discography spans almost 30 years, all the way to his death in 1993. He released more than 60 albums during that period.

In 1973, Zappa returned to the studio with a new band of Mothers. ‘Montana’ is a six-minute tour de force for both bandleader and group. Drum fills, blazing guitar solos, funky time signatures — all that plus Tina Turner on backing vocals.” (ultimateclassicrock.com)

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