So, the first day of Pinburgh 2017 --- well, I've already described the main action, round by round, over that week's posts. So I'll save the time and point you there.
The short of it is, it was a full day of play, of course. But there was time in-between the rounds in which I did just enough below mediocre to drop into the D Division, never to rise again. There was, for the most part, something like an hour between the end of one match and the start of the next. I wasn't in those divisions where the incredibly high-power players who can't just finish a game in reasonable time were. There was some chance to take in the convention. At least, the parts of the convention inside the main hall.
Endlessly fascinating me without my quite going up and learning anything directly about it: the big display for ToonTown Rewritten. It's an appealing-looking toon-based ... some kind of game. The huge canvas advertising it looked nice enough for having a couple different eras of cartoon playing with each other. The tables around it also had a huge set of cartoony props --- big white gloves, triangles of perfect-formed cheese, top hats, clown horns, mouse ears, bunny tails --- that they encouraged people to pose for pictures with. Also it looked like some kind of drawing project. I don't know just what. I never quite had the nerve to ask anyone involved about it. I bet bunny_hugger would have been great in mouse whiskers and tail.
AJG, wife of the AJG who'll probably take state this year, was enjoying her first Pinburgh. She'd told us how she was the last player to sign up, number 800, getting in just as they closed the entries. Which is a neat enough story. It seems incompatible with her officially-registered player number. Perhaps there is something in the system which I do not understand.
We saw from afar, while taking pictures from the pedestrian bridge over the convention center floor, one of the novelty pinball games. This was one hooked up to a stationary bicycle. The harder you pedal, the stronger the flippers were. Also possibly the stronger the playfield lighting was. We never got the chance to play it, but the idea is this nice silly bit. Great thinking on their parts. I also see in my pictures a lot of Princess Leia cosplayers not putting up with imperial trooper cosplayers. Cool. They also had the 80s Game Room set up again, complete with ancient TV Guide issues and magazines showing off their Kodacolor film ads. A lot of fun.
All this fine ancillary fun doesn't change the statistics of the day, though. I sulk that after my first day of play I'm rated somewhere in the 670s among the 800 Pinburgh players. This stood out because in my worldwide International Flipper Pinball Association rating I was somewhere around 650th, out of something like 15,000 active players. I groused some about being somehow lower-ranked in Pinburgh than in the world. ADM, reigning Michigan champion, pointed out he was in the same boat. He finished the day 212th-seeded in Pinburgh. (If I read this right, he was at the time 141st in the world.)
So it was a night of consolations. bunny_hugger and I had both finished in D Division, when we'd hoped for C (and she thought she might repeat in B Division). MWS, similarly, had hoped for B and ended up in the C Division (to which he was restricted by great play in previous years). ADM made the A Division. So did AJG, husband of AJG, doing his best to live up to his boast that he would win Pinburgh. We didn't think he could, and worried about the crash when he didn't. Also what he might be like if he did.
Trivia: The Cuban sugar plants at Central San Juan and Central Hershey produced 30 million pounds of sugar for Hershey in 1920; it was far short of need. Source: Hershey: Milton S Hershey's Extraordinary Life of Wealth, Empire, and Utopian Dreams, Michael D'Antonio.
Currently Reading: The Restoration of Rome: Barbarian Popes and Imperial Pretenders, Peter Heather.
PS: When Is Thanksgiving Most Likely To Happen?, one of those trifles that are always my most popular mathematics-blog post of the month.
PPS: Carousel action!
Crossroads Village has a couple of antique amusement park rides. Here's their C W Parker Carousel, a century-old ride that goes at an appropriate, exciting six rotations per minute. It's the sort of ride that shows how merry-go-rounds can be thrill rides. bunny_hugger's mother refuses to go on it again.
Christmas-dressed plush on one of the carousel horses that they didn't restore, and left on exhibit on the outer rim of the carousel building.
Overhang of the carousel building, with the wreaths and lights giving this a magnificent look and making the perfect cover for my Christmas album.