austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I thought I was the Bally table king

So, last week, bunny_hugger and I went to Pinburgh, the biggest competitive pinball event of the year. And this happened.

SAM_8483.jpg
Me and bunny_hugger showing off our medallions, prizes for having perfect rounds at Pinburgh. She got hers first. This smiling face is the same look I have in every photograph, which inspired one of our friends this weekend to say he hopes to someday enjoy something as much as I enjoy everything. The odd glossy squares around them are the plastic baggies they were somehow stapled into and that we've since ripped off them.

In the first round of the second day of competition, bunny_hugger had a perfect round. Four games, one from each major era of pinball, in which she beat all the competitors. She'll try to disparage her achievement, as she had a three-person group rather than the full four-person group. But she shouldn't. A perfect round in Pinburgh is a fantastic event, something not everyone can do. AJH, one of Michigan's top people, envied her; he's never gotten a perfect round and ends up quivering with nerves when he realizes he's near one.

And then two rounds after that, I had a perfect round too.

If that weren't amazing enough, then, this also happened.

SAM_8614.jpg
The medals I took home from Pinburgh for 2017. The larger, Division D medallion, shows the reverse because that's the one that says which event and division it was. The obverse reads ``ReplayFX 2017'' --- the convention the contest was held under --- with a spiral pattern behind.

With an hilarious postscript. After the Pinburgh results were out, a debate thread burst out on pinball discussion center TiltForums. The argument: there were too many ringers in the D division, people who'd deliberately played below their ability the first day (when sorting was done) to outclass people in the playoffs. bunny_hugger worried that someone might be thinking of me as, not to brag, I dominated the bottommost division. I think that's unlikely. Nobody outside Michigan Pinball has the faintest idea who I am or what my playing level could plausibly be. And everyone inside Michigan Pinball knows of the New Year's Eve 2015/2016 tournament --- many of them where there --- and that I couldn't possibly sandbag. But it's flattering to imagine people on the Internet saying I'm obviously better than what I showed.

So my achievement in being second-best among the lowest division at Pinburgh is why I'm about to jump out of chronological sequence and postpone recounting our anniversary holiday, fantastic as that was. Something really big has come up.

Trivia: A Chinese scholar in 1637 wrote that coal was an unsurpassed fuel for cooking all dishes except bean curds, which would become bitter over a coal fire. Source: Coal: A Human History, Barbara Freese.

Currently Reading: Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Complete Collection, Volume 1, Editor Victor Gorelick.

PS: The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z: Benford's Law, which might help you commit the white-collar crime spree of your dreams!

Tags: pinball, pinburgh
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