austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I'll keep on hanging out, hanging in as long as I can

We were flagging a little after the bookstore. bunny_hugger particularly; she always gets drowsy in there. Maybe it's just that as a proper used bookstore the Dawn Treader is a bit stuffy. Maybe they have a ventilation problem. We went out to a coffee shop to get a snack, something to drink, all that. This sent us to a different coffee shop than usual there, because the one we always go to hasn't got a public bathroom. The one we went to was, I believe, carved out of the former Borders Number Zero, the Ann Arbor mothership of the gone-but-not-forgotten chain. The coffee shop was done in the Apple Store style, but hey, full pot of water for my tea and a refill as wanted. What's not to like?

We then went to the other used record store in town and found it had closed moments before. That's the problem with Ann Arbor on a Sunday; everything closes about six hours too early for us. We considered going to a movie at the Michigan Theatre --- they were showing the Oscar-nominated short subjects --- but were diverted by a lucky text. Our pinball friend MWS happened to be in town, playing at Pinball Pete's Ann Arbor. Why not join him?

So we did. It'd be a very satisfying day of pinball-playing too, and by satisfying I mean ``we got a lot of free games''. MWS particularly was playing a game of the 2015 Kiss that just would not end. He was having a great game to start, and he'd discovered there was almost no tilt, making it much easier to save a ball going in an unfavored direction. He got lit the game's wizard mode, the Kiss Army mode, which none of us had ever been near before. And of course he couldn't shoot the scoop, one of the basic shots of the game and one he'd made about a zillion times already that game.

Still, the rest of us had a good night playing games too. MWS would go on to nearly occupy the whole high score table on the game. I'd get on the table briefly, and get the #2 spot on the 2013 Star Trek. We even started to work out some of the rules of Elvis, a game we barely see and never hear anybody talk about.

And then there's FunHouse. Pinball Pete's Ann Arbor has one. The game is a favorite of so many people. This particular table is ... not. It's badly worn. The playfield is cratered. Which is really astounding because the FunHouse playfields were all coated, from the start, with a protective plastic layer. FunHouse is just that reliably popular. But the table desperately needs major repair and Pinball Pete's isn't willing to do it, possibly because people still play it a lot even in its terrible condition.

bunny_hugger gave it a try. And kept trying. She found the little tricks of how to play such a battered table. And then it came together. She started having a fantastic game, one that got multiballs started. A multiball that was awarding the jackpots --- huge ones, in that game --- for a really easy shot instead of the challenging one it was supposed to take. One that got a ball stuck on a switch where, if she were careful, she could leave it, making the game oh so easy. This game would not have been tournament-legal on many counts, but just playing for your own fun?

And so this is how bunny_hugger for the first time cracked the 20-million-point barrier on FunHouse, and got to be the grand champion on a FunHouse table for the first time.

MWS had to head out. And we'd play a little more before heading out to dinner. We went to the Fleetwood Diner, which is just what it sounds like and which doesn't seem to be doing any the worse for a longtime burger place moving next door. And that closed out our day.

Trivia: The first league-wide baseball schedule was adopted by the National League on the 22nd of March, 1877. Before then clubs arranged dates and locations of matches themselves. Source: A Game of Inches: The Story Behind the Innovations that Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris.

Currently Reading: Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism, Chris Jennings.

PS: A Leap Day 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Normal Subgroup, back to abstract algebra! And a bit that inspires confused stares from mathematics majors. Right, guys? It's not just me?


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