austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

People are the same today as they used to be

Our third pinball league had a meeting on Friday, a week sooner than I expected, but necessarily rescheduled to avoid the major pinball tournament in Pittsburgh this coming week. After a strong performance last month I was actually placed in the top-ranked pod, against people way better than me, but thanks to a strong performance on old solid-state game Wizard and two fair games on Cyclone --- and pre-1990 machines are basically coin tosses for people who're experts on modern pinball machines --- I had a far-better-than-I-deserved stand, hitting for the cycle (one first, one second, one third, and one fourth place finish) plus an extra fourth place for show. The second-place finish was on a great moment, too, plunging an extra ball for the skill shot on Cyclone (all that we were doing, no playing the ball) and just creeping into second place on that, repaying the time I spent ahead of league practicing the skill shot.

Afterwards it turned out a bunch was going to get pizza at Buddy's, and I thought, what the heck, let's. I did not realize this would wipe out all chance of playing any more pinball since Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum would close just about the same time we would wrap up dinner, so to that extent it was a mistake. By reports Marvin's FunHouse was in especially good shape. On the other hand, it allowed us to do some hanging out with people we only dimly knew, and that's something happy.

It also led to the discovery of some of the world of pinball fan politics: the conversation turned to a deep, confusing turn about somebody we don't know, who was doing something we're not quite sure what. If I follow right it was making customized pinball machine cabinets. Only, well, the guy was notorious for taking deposits and never getting around to delivering actual machines, and people were whipping out talk about the ways breach-of-contract suits would apply and how their failure to file as an LLC would affect what assets could even be seized if they were to go to court. And so it turns out the world of furry artists who take commissions and vanishes happens in the real world of high-performance pinball fanatics too. Who would have guessed?

Trivia: The Otis Elevator Company's stationery department, around 1910, provided general stationery of kinds numbered from 401 through 999, and special office paper such as letterhead numbered from 1001. Source: Otis: Giving Rise To The Modern City, Jason Goodwin. (I'm stuck trying to think of six hundred kinds of paper of use to any single concern that isn't about printing books in different sizes.)

Currently Reading: Dimensional Methods and their Applications, Charles M Focken.

Tags: pinball

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