February 13th, 2018

krazy koati

Nobody does it half as good as you

Day after Thanksgiving comes with a couple customs. bunny_hugger working at the bookstore for the fun and chaos of Black Friday. She learned they didn't need her, though. She was able to sign up for a couple hours on the Saturday after, but right before she'd have left they called to say it was not busy enough to need her. This would sound ominous, you'd think, but the store seems to be doing all right. And ... well, we'll get to that in time.

But also a Black Friday tradition: the guy who owns the VFW Ann Arbor Pinball Museum has made that one of the handful of days each year he's allowed to open the museum to the general public. (It's a zoning thing, although I have the sense that the guy who owns it also prefers not having the general public there too often.) The price of admission: cans of food and a Toys For Tots present. In 2016 he'd opened the place two weekends, one with a canned-food drive right after Thanksgiving, one with a Toys For Tots drive in mid-December. Apparently this year he didn't want the hassle and combined the two into a single event.

Still, four hours in a venue that's got literally hundreds of pinball machines, in outstanding shape, including many that you just don't see anywhere else is a great chance. It's also got a broader variety than the Silverball Museum back in Asbury Park; the Silverball museum hasn't got a lot of electromechanicals, and nothing from Stern Pinball (original or modern). It's a chance to play some of the games that first got me into pinball, like Secret Service (featuring the music from Secret Agent Man and Mission Impossible and Get Smart,</strong> and finishing the game with a tinny digital rendition of Baby You're The Best that even speaks aloud ``bay-bee bay-bee'') and Strange Science, and ... to play them with a skill that I'd just never have imagined, back when I first got to college.

I also found myself gravitating towards the late-solid-state games. These are, generally, really hard tables to play. Computers had made it possible for games to register score really quickly, but they weren't quite sophisticated enough to make for modes, where the value of different shots changes radically and temporarily. So to keep players interested games got faster, and the playfields got more crowded. So it's a great era for incredibly frustrating games where nothing seems to happen except that one time in a thousand when everything happens. It was fun, though. Challenging without being too hard. I may be at a point in my pinball-playing life when I'm ready to master this field.

Trivia: The opening ceremonies for the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics were produced by Disney, and included a chores of 2,500 accompanied by a 1,200-piece band. There were 12,500 paying spectators on site. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: Concepts in Thermal Physics, Stephen J Blundell, Katherine M Blundell. An actual thermodynamics textbook, for a change of pace.

PS: Closing Ceremonies photos from Motor City Fur[ry] Con 2017, and nowhere near the end of my picture-taking.


There's never many macros at Motor City Fur[ry] Con, but when they do, they drop candy everywhere.


The closing-ceremony ritual of making the charity's representative tear up at what the total donation ended up being. (Pets for Vets, Southeast Michigan, and ten thousand dollars.)


bunny_hugger's puppet Buttercup all flopped out and exhausted from the convention.