austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

When a problem comes along you must whip it

Now let me speak some about the Michigan State Pinball Championship. I was 13th-ranked in the state, as of the close of the year 2015, and thus assured an invite. bunny_hugger was 17th-ranked and could only attend if someone above did not. All sixteen invitees committed to attend, which has got to be some fluke event even before you consider one of them had moved (back) to Oregon and could only be here by the grace of work flying him in for something or other.

But bunny_hugger had a role in the day's events, besides being on hand in case someone had a car accident or emergency surgery or something. There was to be a side tournament, a charity tournament open to all comers. It was to benefit the Hurley Children's Hospital in Flint. CST, organizing both the main and side tournaments, asked bunny_hugger if she had ideas for trophies. And by ``had ideas for'' he meant ``would be willing to make''. This is because competitive pinball is still a fandom.

She agreed, and had a good idea when she learned the hospital was part of the Children's Miracle Network. The Network has as its logo a hot air balloon. She knew where to find a mould for turning sculpey clay into hot air balloon figures, and balloons are compatible with the ``Amazing Race'' format of the side tournament. So she got that, and some clay, and started painting. She also had to get blocks of wood, for the trophy base, and some nail-type things to support the balloons and fix them to the wood base.

And of course time always seemed to be running out. We got to Michael's for wood and nail-type things in the last hour it was open the last Sunday before the tournament. We'd also tried to get nails, at the Ace Hardware next to it, but you know how hard it is to just buy just three nails? I was tempted to swipe some from a box because there's no way that we could use a half-pound of finishing nails in our lifetime.

All the chaos of putting a craft project together came, and washed over it (did that block have a crack in its base ready to split apart the moment the nail was put in?), and somehow the trophies were ready and reasonably dry the day before the tournament.

Trivia: Stanley Pons was already receiving about $300,000 per year in funding from the Office of Naval Research when he and Martin Fleischmann developed their cold fusion experiments. Source: Sun In A Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking, Charles Seife.

Currently Reading: The Fundamental Physical Constants and the Frontier of Measurement, P W Petley.

Tags: michigan state pinball championship, pinball
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