austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

These hurried hours were all the life we could share

Last year we attended the first public opening of the Ann Arbor Pinball Museum, or the VFW Pinball Museum. I'm not sure about its name. It's kind of confusing. The place is a former Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, and it's even got the old sign out in front yet, so they sometimes call themselves Vintage Flipper World. Anyway, because of zoning requirements they can't be open to the public more than a couple times a year. Recently was their first public opening in a year. We chose to go Friday, because while that was a mere six-hour session on the machines, Saturday was already sold out and would be especially packed, and Sunday would be from 10 am to 4 pm. We're more 4 pm to 10 pm people.

The museum is, incredibly, more packed than even last year. Another couple dozen machines were put into a pole barn used as an outbuilding and so if you haven't got enough of playing every pinball machine ever seen, there's another spot with a whole bunch of more pinball machines. Also this year we're much better-informed about stuff like Big Bang Bar, one of Capcom's short-lived experiments in making pinball machines.

Going to it presents a terrible sort of time-use dilemma: on the one hand, if you find a game that's rare or that you like you're never going to see it in such good shape. On the other hand, there's another two hundred machines, some of which you also aren't going to see again, not anytime soon anyway. This is why it took bunny_hugger so long to get around to playing Funhouse, for example.

But one of last year's minor frustrations was beaten. They had Apollo 13 still, and our friend MWS got the game up to the 13-ball multiball and gave it to bunny_hugger to play. She didn't play it long, though, because of the way 13-ball multiball works. See, it launches the first three balls one at a time, maybe a half-second apart --- speedy, but normal enough --- from the plunger lane. And then the other ten balls it drops in a shower of steel over the left playing field. It caught her by surprise. It catches everyone by surprise. She started laughing; that's really appropriate. It's the funniest multiball there is. But the pinball rain would drain almost as fast, because of that.

Later I'd get the chance to play, and I even managed to get the 13-ball multiball myself. This would be the first time I'd done it since playing at the old Broadway Arcade in Manhattan, before going to a Late Night with Conan O'Brien taping. The 13-ball multiball was even almost easy to set up. Who could've imagined?

Trivia: A 90-wheel trailer was used to tow the space shuttle Enterprise for its delivery from Rockwell Plant 42 to the Edwards Air Force Base in 1977. Source: Development of the Space Shuttle 1972 - 1091, T A Heppenheimer.

Currently Reading: Tin Woodman, David F Bischoff, Dennis R Bailey.

PS: A Summer 2015 Mathematics A To Z: fallacy, which is not the same thing as error.

Tags: pinball

Posts from This Journal “pinball” Tag

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