Manus Hand

My Home Page and Welcome To It

Yes, I needed a shave

The MHFC

Don't ask me why (it has something to do with all the stuff listed below), but someone has actually started a Manus Hand Fan Club. There are no dues, so if you have any inclination to join, I'm not about to stop you (heck, I'm a charter member myself!)

Dead Presidents

If you're into dead presidents, you came to the right place. By simply clicking your mouse button, you can see pictures of me visiting the final resting places of every one of them (save five -- I'm still working on it). It's one of the most useless sites on the Net, and I'm not just saying so myself.

The Diplomatic Pouch

You're invited to rifle through the pages of The Diplomatic Pouch, the official home page for Hasbro's game of Diplomacy and its many variants, a site (including an online magazine, and my labor of love, the Web/E-mail based DPjudge) that I started way back in 1995, and that I am proud to publish (and too busy to do so -- thankfully, I have grown helpers over the years). In addition to Weblishing The Pouch, my involvement in Diplomacy runs deep, including placing fifth for the world championship, being a member of the world championship team, winning the Don Miller Memorial Award for meritorious service to the Diplomacy hobby, and authoring a couple chapters for the user manual of Hasbro's CD-ROM release of the game (which I do not recommend, although a couple chapters of the user manual seem to be real good).

The ARMADA

The ARMADA is the Association of Rocky Mountain Area Diplomacy Adversaries. I started the ARMADA and have roped enough people into getting it going. In addition to crowning regional champions and keeping ratings for member players, the ARMADA has joined the other U.S. regional organizations in the rotation of the national, continental, and even the world championship tournaments. The ARMADA hosted the 34th annual North American Championships in February of 2001, the 2003 World Championships, and the 2004 U.S. Championships.

Talossa

In addition to the pursuits listed above, I got involved in the national simulation (it's hard to figure a better way to describe it) known as the Kingdom of Talossa. Fun stuff. Check it out....

The Indulgers
Playlist

As you can see, I have a lot of things to say about myself on my home page. Call it overbusy, call it ego, whatever. The point is, it takes a lot to earn a place on my home page if you're not me. Well, The Indulgers have done it. I know Irish music, I know what I like, and I know I like Irish music. And I love The Indulgers. (In fact, if you look closely, you can see me in some of the photos on their Website, shamrocker.com.) Take my advice and buy every one of their CD's. And see them in person as soon as you can. So that you will be able, as I will, to say you remember them when....

Into Thick Air

Living in the Rockies has its privileges. One of mine is that I was invited to join the "Into Thick Air" climbing team for the arduous April 2001 ascent to the top of the highest mountain in the state of Nebraska. This expedition, ably led by my friend Troy Bettinger, followed the ITA team's historic descent of Mount Sunflower, highest peak in Kansas. If you missed all the newspaper coverage (a couple of brave photojournalists from the media accompanied us on the trek), don't fret: you can read all about both climbs at the Website, with pictures that, if you believe everything you hear, are worth exactly a thousand words each.

LHS 20th Year Reunion

I volunteered to post the photographs from the Laramie (Wyoming) High School 20th Year Reunion for my graduating class of 1982. Volunteering to do this was my way of making sure that my classmates would be forced to claim me.

Python

I am an active user of the Python programming language (the best language out there), having presented a paper at the Fourth Python Conference and contributed to the core source of the language. I am a member of the Python Software Foundation and one of the charter crew members on the Python Starship. More information can be found at the Python home page and on the usenet newsgroup comp.lang.python. The DPjudge and all the CGI scripts used at The Diplomatic Pouch are Python Powered.

Queen's Chaperone
and
Two-Handed Solitaire

Speaking of cool things you can do quickly with Python, here are some solitaire playing card games I implemented. The first one ("Queen's Chaperone") is my father's creation, the only solitaire for a pinochle deck that we know of -- as I was growing up, my dad always said someday he'd invent a solitaire for a pinochle deck, and he finally did (and it's a great game!). Although dad re-christened it "Queen's Chaperone," I had originally named it "One-Handed Pinochle" because my dad has only one "Hand" in his name (as opposed to my two) and in honor of his penchant (which he passed on to me) for applauding after the rest of the crowd has stopped, so that everyone in the theater can say that they've "heard the sound of one Hand clapping."

The second solitaire is my own invention, based in part on a game whose name I don't know, with some twists in the rules. I call it "Two-Handed Solitaire" because I like naming things after myself (my first name means "Hand," and that's my last name, you know). The games won't let you cheat (other than that the Back button is a handy unlimited "undo"!), so you'll play by the rules whether you like them or not.


Scrabble Blast Solver

Here's another quick CGI script that can make sure you get the highest possible score in Scrabble Blast.

My Family

Firstborn and only son in a family of seven children, I now am king of a castle in Parker, Colorado. You can see some pictures of my wife Angela and my two children (Kayla Kristeen and McManus Jameson), and hopefully I will get around to posting more of them.

My Family Tree

It's the one thing people put on Websites that basically no one else really cares about. But who am I to keep you from not caring about my family tree? So here it is, everything I know (well, everything I have typed in so far), in a format invented by my father (and computerized by me).

Zorkball

What? You don't know what Zorkball is? Well, don't feel special. But if you want to join the very small minority of people who make up the Zorkball cognizanti, you've come to the right place. (Actually, you've come to the only place.)

Computer Music

With my electronic MIDI keyboard and some software, I while away some of my free time transcribing music that interests me and even trying to compose some for myself. If you're interested by this, you can check out my fledgling collection of MIDI files.

Manusized Mapit
and
Its Web-Runnable Self

The Diplomacy game maps used by the DPjudge were created with a version of the "mapit" program that I customized to provide some extra features. A clamor arose in the Diplomacy community for my version of "mapit" to be made publicly available. So now it is. Not only is the code available, but I set up a crude page so that Diplomacy positions or results can be typed (or cut-and-pasted) into a Webform and the resulting maps are generated and displayed automatically.

Columbo Episodes

Once upon a time, I stumbled onto a set of Web pages that listed all the episodes of "Columbo." That page has now been taken down, so I decided to put up at least one page to serve as a humble replacement. Fair warning: my synopses of each of the episodes reveal the way in which Columbo solves the mystery, so read at your own peril.

The Grail, Inc.

My family company, The Grail, Inc., founded by my father in the 1970's, is on-line. The Grail is a manufacturer of unique puzzles and board games. Take a look at the product line!

Weirdness

The weirdest thing I've ever seen. It's a static graphic; no animation or motion at all. Make it your screen background and drive yourself crazy.

Cookie Recipes

Cookie recipes?? What? You make cookies? Well, no, I don't (at least not very often). But if I did or when I do, here are the cookies I make. (If you make any, mail me some. I will eat them for you.)

Neologisms

Since it's absolutely true and documented, and since tooting my own horn doesn't seem to be a problem for me, I'll go ahead and take credit for having invented two words: "emoticon" (now in worldwide use, which is the term describing those little text smileys like :-) and frownies like :( that are used in e-mail), and "Weblish" (to publish on the Web). Yep, those are mine, but you're welcome to use them free of charge!

Manus Hand, your friend and mine, is available via e-mail at "manus@diplom.org".