February 17th, 2016

krazy koati

I'm falling from the sky and when you shine I won't be there

After dinner we went, per invitation, to PH's home. He runs the Blind Squirrel League, and while we didn't see him, we did see his son who invited us to come over and play a bit. We'd been there before, in a just-before-New-Year's tournament in 2014. His basement's got a couple dozen pinball machines, most in quite good shape, and two in the state of being refurbished into working order.

He had new machines from a year and change ago, too: a Harley Davidson, for example, and an Embryon. That game with its prog-rock cover had fascinated me at the defunct Arcade League. This time I played it so well as to roll the score counter. I'm still novice enough to be thrilled by any chance to roll a machine. He also had World Poker Tour, one of the games to feature at the State Championship. (A different instance of the table, but the same game.) So we could get a little bit of insight how to play it. The machine has a tiny upper playfield, and you should try to get the ball to spend as much time in it as you can. If a pinball machine has an upper playfield, you probably should be trying to make the ball stay in there as long as possible.

And we gave our thanks and departed, rather than wear out welcomes. Also because we had a two-hour drive to get home, and CST and MWS carpooling with us had another hour after that; we couldn't expect them to stay even later.

But when we got home it struck bunny_hugger and I that our local hipster bar was still open and it was nice and close and why not play a bit more? So we went with MWS and played through the closing numbers of some series of bands playing there. We forgot, oh yeah, they have concerts there on Saturdays. Between the late hour when we arrived and the staff knowing who we were we weren't asked for a cover for the show we weren't there to see.

After that long day of playing, MWS went home, and I thought ... you know, we hadn't played our Tri-Zone at home. I urged my exhausted bride to play too. Why, because we hadn't had enough pinball? No, I thought, just for the silly joy of playing in four venues over the course of the day. We haven't played in that many different places before. So we closed with this silly bit.

Results wouldn't be known for week or so. We had officially played makeups for week 1 and 2 in the Blind Squirrel League, but had played week 3 ahead of the scheduled date. So the actual league players who get together at the appropriate time had to play their games. When it was done ... well! bunny_hugger came in 14th, I think it was, in the standings. She'd wanted a better performance but there are a lot of the state's top players --- herself included --- with scores listed. Meanwhile, thanks in large part to an outstanding World Cup USA (I got to the wizard mode for the first time ever!) I was placed 5th for the season.

There are finals to play yet. Those are going to be a regular weeknight, a Wednesday, a day bunny_hugger has to get to bed early for work, later this month. That'll make for an interesting drive.

Trivia: Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He died in Samoa. Source: How The Scots Invented The Modern World, Arthur Herman.

Currently Reading: The Outdoor Amusement Industry, William F Mangels.