austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I'm staring across the sky and when you leave I won't be there

So what's the experience of playing a whole season of pinball league in one afternoon like? Weird, like you'd guess. Disorienting too. Pinball is inherently Sisyphean: however long you keep the ball going, it will eventually roll down out of play. A game is to keep doing that, over and over again, until it ultimately rolls down out of play. The Blind Squirrel League allows you to replay a table, if you think you can do better. If you don't, you have to stick with the replayed score. So you might play the game twice for that week's result. And then have two more weeks to do.

I broke things up, moving around tables, so I wouldn't be playing any one table too many times in a row. Recording was done on the honor system. This caused me some pain. I was puttering around trying to get the feel for the solid-state table they had, Lucky Ace, while waiting for Wheel of Fortune. I put up an outstanding core, rolling the table. But I hadn't decided beforehand --- a decision you weren't expected to announce, I should say --- that this would be one of my league games. So I couldn't in good conscience record it as such, though no one would have faulted me if I had. I figured I could do that well again, after all. I did not.

This Lucky Ace table also had an odd glitch: press the start button and you might not get all three balls. You might get only two. In one practice game it gave me zero balls. There's a workaround. It seems if you press and hold the start button for a long time, then it's more likely to give you three balls. This sort of glitch is part of the joy of the mechanical.

We were there until dinner time before we finished playing. Some of our friends from Grand Rapids, who'd come in late because they had to work, stayed behind. We decided to leave the restaurant we were at to go to the other restaurant across the street. Well, the tavern was pretty busy, and we weren't sure what kind of food they had. Meanwhile the other restaurant, where the Baby Food and the Harvest Festival pinball tournaments had been held, would serve breakfast all day. It turned out they serve breakfast all day except Fridays and Saturdays, so we were stuck with the dinner menu. Breakfast menus are great since it's easy to eat vegetarian (though not vegan) on them. Dinner menus ... well, bunny_hugger, CST (who's largely vegetarian, apparently in part because of his long experience taking care of animals), and I (trying to be more vegetarian) ended up all eating the same pasta dish. It was that or soup. So now we know for next time.

Trivia: Alan Jay Lerner's musical 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue had its production costs of $1.2 million supplied by the Coca-Cola company. It was hoped the play, featuring all the presidents, would become a bicentennial tribute. The play opened at the Mark Hellinger Theater on the 4th of May, 1976, and closed after seven performances. Source: Not Since Carrie: 40 Years Of Broadway Musical Flops, Ken Mandelbaum.

Currently Reading: The Outdoor Amusement Industry, William F Mangels. And I keep being plagued by the idea I've read it before but I can't find it mentioned in my past Currently Reading entries. (Don't bother going and searching for me. I appreciate the effort but it hardly matters if I'm rereading it.)

PS: The Set Tour, Part 12: What Can You Do With Functions? in which I don't actually name any new, good sets, but prepare myself for the day when I will.

Tags: blind squirrel league, pinball
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