April 17th, 2016

krazy koati

I'll make it up to you, that I can promise you, if I am given just half the chance

So putting aside the great AJG upset, how did things go at March Hare Madness? Past that earth-shaking event, largely the way we anticipated. We knew to start with which games were dodgy, and one of them, World Cup Soccer, did indeed have to be taken out of the rotation. I forget just why, but it wasn't for the reason we expected it to break down. Theatre of Magic shocked everyone with a sudden, unexpected reset. When that happened a second time we took it off the roster, which is a shame. It's a fun game. And it allows for some pretty high scores pretty fast, which would make it a good Amazing Race game. The Simpsons Pinball Party was also out because it was eating quarters. Which is fine, since the table at our hipster bar is the roughest anyone knows, keeping it from being all that fun. We started out just putting arrows on the threshold score index cards. When the last table got knocked out I added a ``Kennywood'' to the arrow, making a joke of this that would amuse bunny_hugger if she noticed it at the time, or maybe amuses her now.

We would have a few little glitches. On Fish Tales, one of the competitors put up a score of just over three million points. This is a surprisingly low score. We could hardly see how he got that low considering he didn't tilt repeatedly. It takes some skill to get that when you aren't deliberately tanking the game. But that's what was on record. He came back to bunny_hugger asking if she was sure he'd recorded the score right. He had thought he'd gotten eight million. Which is still a low score, mind, but not an improbably low one. But by then she only had what her notes said. She did vaguely think the leading '3' looked strange, but she wasn't positive.

The thing about our Fish Tales is that it's got a couple faulty columns of dots in its dot-matrix display. And it doesn't show the leftmost column at all, which would be exactly the column that would turn a '3' into an '8' or vice-versa. It would make much more sense if he had eight million. But then other players had gone past based on the three-million threshold. After consultation bunny_hugger decided to void that particular instance of the game and send everyone on to the next table, just as if they passed.

bunny_hugger would be knocked out about halfway through, in a freak event. This would be on The Addams Family, a beloved but often cruel table. It's easy to get a low score on this. Somehow, nobody did. The threshold score started about fifty million points, which takes a respectable bit of play. It floated down to about thirty million, which is still above the median for our typical Lansing League night. And somehow nobody had the typical blast of rotten luck; everybody put up respectably good games. bunny_hugger's was just the worst of an otherwise respectable set. Of all the Amazing Race games, this was the one that had everybody put up good, tough-to-beat scores.

I would be knocked out less gloriously, and just shy of the final-four quartet. It would be on The Walking Dead. WVL, the Lansing League's president, put up a score below ten million points, which is about what you expect to score for showing up and not being actually deceased while playing. He was expecting to be knocked out on this. He had bad luck, the ball coming after the plunge and bouncing into the outlane several times. But I played right after him and ... got the first ball kicked into the outlane before I could react. Tried the second and never got control of the ball. Tried the third, going for the simplest, easiest, surest set of scores in the game and saw the ball drifting out of control. I nudged. Too hard. The game tilted. The score came up and it was short of WVL's. Possibly had I not tiled my bonus would have put me over his. WVL thinks so. I'm not sure of it. In any case, I had a sub-terrible score and was out also.

Trivia: Buildings in Japan were limited to a height of 328 feet, the height a fire fighter's hose could spray water, until 1964. Source: Otis: Giving Rise to the Modern City, Jason Goodwin.

Currently Reading: Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival, Peter Stark.

PS: More Things To Read, mathematics and physics-related stuff I've come across recently.