CST couldn't be coaxed into attending Rocket Robin. He had, ultimately, good reason. He did need to be up first thing in the morning to take care of a zoo animal. How could we complain about that? But some people could be coaxed in. WVL, head of the Lansing Pinball League, put aside his dislike for our charity of the Capital Area Humane Society to attend. (He blames the Capital Area Humane Society for the death of his cat, a story we're not sure we have straight, although given what he complains about we could understand not wanting to give them his ten dollars entry fee.)
AND, who'd run the Rollerpalooza tournament the weekend before, didn't make it either. He'd had intentions to, but some crisis developed and I forget what it was. But he did send his wife, who brought some donations to the cause and entered the tournament. She had to leave after the first round, to deal with the problem. This is still a generous impulse. Among other things, it meant that afterwards someone each round would get a bye, a chance to rest up and maybe try some of the side tournament games.
You might ask how people had time for side tournaments if we were playing round after round of match games. The answer is, everyone started their matches simultaneously. The next round couldn't start until the last game from the old was finished, and that would necessarily involve people with the best records playing each other. There could be quite a bit of time to do side things.
The tournament went on with mercifully little trouble. One game, Revenge From Mars, chose to malfunction and had to be taken out, and being called over to deal with it distracted bunny_hugger from a game. She would have a rough night, finishing just under .500, but she hadn't expected better given the stress of running the tournament. I finished just above .500, not my ideal, but good for sixth place.
There'd be ultimately a three-way tie for third place, including one featuring that rarity of a brand-new player. We've hoped for new people to come to pinball events, and they did. Six of the seventeen players at the event were people who haven't played before, or haven't played many things before. The three-way playoff game would be Austin Powers, the least-loved game at the bar, because of course. CST smiled and shook his head when he heard that. He and I are the only people who play the game on purpose, and use it as an ace in the hole when we have league finals. That it would turn up, by a random draw, as the playoff game is only going to reinforce my nickname for it as ``the game of champions''.
AJG, who's making a serious play for top seed in the state championship this year, won the tournament. He also won two of the three closest-to-the-pin tournaments, earning him a sweet Like $7.75 in prize pools. (MWS won the third of the closest-to-the-pin games.) And we put together something like $200 for the Capital Area Humane Society.
After it all finished, MWS and bunny_hugger and I went to Theio's, the 24-hour diner traditional as the after-Lansing-league hangout spot. We had missed a couple weeks of it, owing to a flirtation with the Fleetwood Diner Lansing. There our favorite waitress explained she'd been rehired, after a couple months absence, and we confessed we had missed her whole temporary firing by the new owners. The diner turns out to be a hotbed of drama and roiling controversy, who knew? It's since gotten even more bizarre.
Trivia: A wooden blimp hangar built for the United States Navy in Tillamook, Oregon, during World War II measures 300 feet wide, 190 feet tall, and over 1,000 feet long. It was built in 27 working days. Source: A Splintered History of Wood: Belt-Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers, and Baseball Bats, Spike Carlsen.
Currently Reading: Sabrina The Teenage Witch: Complete Collection, Volume 1, Editor Victor Gorelick.