austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy

OK, that's done, so I can work on getting caught up on what happened since early June. The first big thing was the Kiss Launch Party. Stern Pinball recently released a new machine and, following Pinball Law, it's band-themed. The thing is Kiss already had a pinball machine, released back around 1980 when that made sense. The new machine includes a few references to the old, particularly with retro-style pop bumpers.

We went to a bowling alley outside Flint for the launch party. This is the location of one of the state's other pinball leagues, one with an organizer who's been leaning on bunny_hugger to join. The bowling alley has a good ten machines or so, and they brought in the new and the old Kiss for the launch party. In this people would play the old and the new for position and then the highest-ranking of them would go on to a match-play tournament.

Neither bunny_hugger nor I would be in the finals. We put together some fair games particularly on the older machine. The new one, no, just couldn't get the hang of it. (It doesn't help that, as required by Pinball Law anymore, the software was incomplete. For example, when you start the New Stern game, you get to pick a song and a city. The song affects what targets you should be shooting for right away. The city affects nothing, as far as anyone can figure out, but maybe someday it will?) But that's all right. We got to hang out with some of our pinball friends, and meet some new ones, and also meet MWS's father who was watching over this strange spectacle.

One we were safely knocked out we did go to playing the other pinball machines. They have some omnipresent ones like The Walking Dead and some novel choices like Congo. They also have the 1970s game Skylab, a wonderful solid state machine. And they have some real oddities: Zodiac, an extra-wide machine with a ball that launches out the center, and a use of magnets that does not lead them to instantly draining. They also have the rare game Dragon, a fun yet infuriating Spanish pinball machine that put the word ``bao'' into pinball's vocabulary.

bunny_hugger won some promotional flyers in a raffle draw, but after taking care of them all night we left them behind as we were leaving. Figures.

Trivia: In 1949 Reuters's France division earned a profit of £686. By 1958 it had a profit of £45,922. Source: The Power Of News: The History of Reuters, Donald Read.

Currently Reading: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L Frank Baum.

Tags: pinball

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