October 15th, 2016

krazy koati

We're drinking all night

Morning! We could get up, shower, and flood the bathroom. The room we were staying in was wheelchair-friendly, which meant there wasn't any kind of divider between the shower stall and the rest of the bathroom floor. Without thinking I used the shower head while facing the wall and so covered the bathroom floor in upwards of eight feet of hot water. I would learn better, and stand so I pointed the shower head toward the wall instead despite this being a violation of the laws of man, nature, and nature's god, and I wouldn't flood the bathroom again until Sunday. I don't know what happened then. I warned bunny_hugger about this but not forcefully enough for her to be ready to step into a pool of tepid shower water before she'd had her coffee.

We emerged downstairs listening to directions it was a little too early in the day to understand and sought out anywhere in the hotel we could get a little bit of breakfast. Like, a doughnut or bagel and coffee. This we found at a spot called Crazy Mocha which we have pegged as Pittsburgh's Biggby. It would be a weirdly slow process getting our bagels and, for me, tea, but we made it through with our lives and dignity intact. We could go on to trying to follow directions to the David L Lawrence Convention Center, across the street, and the location of the ReplayFX Convention, the event hosting Pinburgh. It turned out to be that we could either use the pedestrian footbridge or just go outside and cross the street, but you know, this stuff seems complicated the first time you see it. Again we made it through with our dignity and lives intact.

We got into the convention center for what I apparently will never tire of calling Anthrocon in the Off Season and got our badges. They were nice-sized ones featuring some kind of four-eyed pterodactyl kaiju but not, in defiance of my expectations, our names. I worried how they keep out imposters.

The Michigan pinball folk had agreed to get together at ``the entrance to Pinburgh'' for a group photo so of course we found ambiguity about that. bunny_hugger and I assumed it meant the entrance to the enormous main hall with all the pinball games, video games, and associated other stuff inside. Other folks thought it meant the entrance to just the area inside the main hall, the one walled off and accessible only to Pinburgh competitors. Anyone could go to the main hall, after all, but only registered competitors could go into the restricted area. Again I'm not sure how they actually enforced that besides, I guess, people's honor. Nobody checked who I was anyway, but I do have the advantages of being a tall white male. I can't help looking legitimate in that context.

But we got together for a couple group photos, despite some questions about whether everyone was actually there. And some quips about how one bomb could take out the entire top of the Michigan competitive pinball community and who would go to state finals if we were all taken out right then and there? Well, I know who to suspect but since it didn't happen I suppose we can let that pass.

In the few minutes before the competition was to start I went to the free play area and played a game on someone's Lost World, a 1978 early-solid-state game. And did, I thought, quite well, getting something like a quarter-million points. (The display only supports scores under a million points.) So that was my good omen going in and I felt optimistic.

The appointed hour! They gathered all the competitors together to give some words of welcome and some inaudible instructions about how to play, and then we were to wait a little bit. They had to finish working out who was there, how many of the people on standby admission would get to play, and assign everyone to pods of four players and banks of four games. And then the competition would start.

Trivia: 1950 New York City had 283 piers, 98 of them able to handle oceangoing vessels. Source: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made The World Smaller And The World Economy Bigger, Marc Levinson.

Currently Reading: DC Showcase Presents: Superman Family, Volume 1, Editors Robert Greenberger, Emily Ryan Lerner. I appreciate the silver-age side projects having lower stakes and more lighthearted adventures, but seriously, one of these stories is about Jimmy Olsen breaking up a guy's plan to scam the local boys marble championship match. And he needs Superman's help to do it.

PS: How Mathematical Physics Works: Another Course In 2200 Words, as I try getting back to my orbit explanation stuff.