austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

You let me know everything's all right

First thing we could do back home again was, well, sleep. And recuperate. bunny_hugger had classes to pick up again. But come Friday there was an outgoing social activity we could actually get to and do. This would be the Guardians of the Galaxy launch party. That's for the Stern pinball machine, and based on the movie. Possibly also the sequel. I'm not sure. Haven't seen the second movie yet. This was something like six weeks after the pinball venues had gotten their machines in, but I so don't understand the logic of release parties.

This one was at Marvin's Marvellous Mechanical Museum, which is always great to visit. The routine of a launch party is pretty simple: everyone gets a certain time or number of chances to put up a score on the launched machine. The people producing the top four scores go to a playoff on the table to win whatever the prize is; I think it was a trophy provided by Stern. Maybe also a translite, the art that goes on the backing of the machine. The vagueness with which I describe this should tell you whether I won or not.

Mind, I had fun. I like the theme of the table. And I joke about giving the table the Secret Raccoon Handshake and all. But I've had pretty good games on it surprisingly often for how few chances I've had to play. MWS was disappointed by the game early on, pointing out how similar the playfield is to Metallica, which isn't by itself a problem except that MWS burned out on Metallica after it had been his favorite game. Well, I finished in 6th place, out of 20 players, which isn't bad considering the field and that, I think, I only took one entry rather than the two theoretically open to me.

The rest of the time I did other stuff. Going around the attractions at Marvin's, particularly, and trying out coin-op amusements. Many were working. Many I took movies of so that, if the worst happens, I'll have recorded images of not quite what I really wanted to see.

Also I got to playing Aerosmith. The game's the first of Stern's that uses a proper flat-screen TV instead of a dot-matrix display for the scoreboard. It's a hard table. It's fun, if the balls don't drain right away, but it's so hard to keep them from draining right away. I kept thinking if I went back to fundamentals, just practicing trapping the ball and aiming at a couple targets, I might get to avoiding disastrously bad games. I didn't manage it, though. And it would be moot: when we came back next week the table was gone, replaced with the new Houdini pinball. Marvin's was the last place I knew of that had one in. Aerosmith had been released in March of 2017; we first played it when we went to Dallas so bunny_hugger could compete in the Women's World Championship. And now it's not anywhere I know of. I suppose the table's just a little too hard, at least for public venues.

Trivia: The Imperial Chinese civil service had among its responsibilities the suppressing of counterfeit almanacs. Counterfeits might have counterproductive rituals listed. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.

Currently Reading: The Best of Simon and Kirby, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby. Book Editor Steve Saffel.


PS: So my photo roll has got up to our anniversary trip to New Jersey last year. First up, Bowcraft! This is going to have a lot of pictures since it was (probably) the last year for the amusement park and so I have a lot of proving-the-thing-existed photographs to share for future amusement park archaeologists.

SAM_4419.jpg

The very skinny front parking lot to Bowcraft Amusement Park, in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. If it looks like it's in a strip mall that's because it kind of is; it sits off the edge of Route 22, a typically busy North Jersey divided highway and there's strip malls on either side of the place. There's a larger, normal, parking lot around back.


SAM_4420.jpg

Peeking in from the strip-mall-grade parking lot into Bowcraft; the building with the clock is the station for the train ride. Bowcraft, in Scotch Plains, is near but not actually in the New Jersey highlands. In the background, a high land. Not pictured: plains.


SAM_4425.jpg

And the somewhat faded front sign for Bowcraft. Roller Coaster Database says the place has been named ``Bowcraft Playland'' since 2007, but this is what the highway sign was saying in June 2017.


Tags: bowcraft, pinball
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