austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Metal under tension, begging you to touch and go

In less thrilling additions to the house, we have a new pinball machine.

It's been a long time coming; I'd thought idly about a game back when I was an undergrad but couldn't afford it and couldn't imagine the upkeep on it. But with me and bunny_hugger both serious competitive pinball players, it started feeling weird that we didn't have a game. One of our friends, GRV, said early this year we'd have one by the time 2015 was out. Our pinball friend MWS had bought a Tri-Zone, a 1979 Williams game, and he'd gotten bored with it because he plays so much better than we do. (The game's got an old-fashioned, slow play with a simple rule set.) We borrowed bunny_hugger's parents' Honda CRV to transport it.

When we got to MWS's house and the long, steep driveway up to the garage ... well, I scraped one of his roommate's cars. I think it's the lightest possible scrape, the CRV's rubber bumpers against the other car's dirt. It was hard to tell in the dark. Besides the car we had the loan of her father's dolly, and some straps that he'd promised us were obvious and easy to use. We couldn't figure out how to quite strap the table to the dolly, not tightly anyway, and we made do with only a loose strap moving the pinball machine out into the car. We didn't bother with the strap at all moving the machine into our house.

We did have the chance to meet his mother, and their two dogs. One was an exceptionally friendly dog who in about two minutes licked every part of my skin. The other was more reserved, in that she kept coming down the stairs, looking at us in the horrified discovery we were still there, growling barely loud enough to be heard, and then running back upstairs. I get like that myself.

MWS followed us home, to help with setup. This was a very good thing because it turned out we had left the pinball machine's legs behind. We have the machine set up in the breakfast nook. We had to take out the table and chairs, which we never use for breakfast or any other kind of meal, to make space for it. We also cleared out a lot of junk that had accumulated there because we can't think of a better place to put it, and the room looks much more roomy and airy now. Also it's now used for more than a place to get pantry items from.

Since the machine's too old to have a real high score table we've set up a dry-erase leaderboard. bunny_hugger is the grand champion, by a pretty substantial margin. She also set up a couple of fake high scores, just as a real pinball machine has some default names with rounded-off scores, so that we could knock off virtual MWS and virtual CST from the scoreboard. MWS has disappeared from the leaderboard, though the phony CST with 500,000 points is still there. So far.

Trivia: The space shuttle logistics building opened at the Kennedy Space Center in December 1985 housed about 190,000 spare parts for the shuttles, as well as office space for 550 Kennedy Space Center and Lockheed employees previously scattered across five buildings. Source: A History of the Kennedy Space Center, Kenneth Lipartito, Orville R Butler.

Currently Reading: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Sean Howe.

Tags: pinball
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