July 12th, 2020

krazy koati

You can't tell a rose isn't a rose if you keep it away from your nose

In happier circumstances this would have been finals day for Pinburgh. Call it a one in four chance that I would have made it, or bunny_hugger would have, or MWS or any other individual of our group. Its scoring wouldn't be PAPA-style, but it would still be a format that could let you advance without necessarily winning all or any games in a group. It's a good one for me and bunny_hugger. Plays to our strengths, which come out when we aren't worried about how to win this one.

There'd be shows we'd finally have time to get to. Surely Bit Brigade playing the soundtrack to some beloved 16-bit video game I know nothing about but that delights bunny_hugger and MWS. bunny_hugger would be putting in games for the Intergalactic Pinball Tournament, too, a Herb-style match playing exactly ten games on a bank of machines nobody else touched all weekend. I had planned to forego this, as taking up too much time and not being fun enough; everybody at Pinburgh who didn't get into finals would be in the Intergalactic and the queues are tiresome. But that was my intention back in February. Maybe I'd feel differently on site.

We'd have to leave the con around midnight, though it wouldn't be closed until 2 am or something. We'd need to get up early so bunny_hugger could play in the Women's Invitational Pinball Tournament.


So a follow-up from the 4th of July. It had started for us way too early, because the people renting the Bro house set off fireworks. At 8:30 am. The second time they did this I went out and, trying to give them every chance to not be ``people who set off fireworks at 8:30 am'', went up to them, on the porch. They said they didn't want to shoot a firework at me and I thanked them for the courtesy. I said they were perhaps not aware that the noise from their fireworks was carrying, and it was 8:30 in the morning. One of them said it was the fourth of July, and I reiterated, it's 8:30 in the morning. They apologized and said they would stop it, and they were as good as their word until I got back inside the house and in bed, when they shot off another bottle rocket or something.

I am not one to call cops on someone lightly but here, yeah, they have a non-emergency line for stuff like ``setting off fireworks before 11 am'' and I put in a report. I'm sure nothing came of it. As I got back to bed the second time I saw them out the window, setting off one more bottle rocket from their car before driving off. We spent the day with bunny_hugger's parents and I know I kept coming back to the fear of what we'd find when we got back. And how many fireworks they'd set off at 8:30 Sunday morning now that they knew we hated it. And when we did get back Saturday night there was ... nothing. The house was quiet as could be. Sunday morning too.

Through AirBnB comments the events of that weekend transpire. First, the landlord has turned the Bro house into a flophouse, charging upwards of 60 cents per night for a stay. Second, the guys renting it were angry to learn the house was not air conditioned, and after one night in a century-old house during a heat wave decided to take off. They wanted a refund on the unused night. The landlord protested that if air conditioning was so important to them they could have searched for houses that said anything about air conditioning. Also they, allegedly, left the house unlocked, key on the porch, all day after they left. And left the interior a shambles. So they've been fighting back and forth about who's the bigger jerk here.

Since then, the landlord has been around putting room air conditioners in every window on the house. You'd think central air would be easier although this does allow you to easily set different temperatures in the three different bedrooms that he's listing on AirBnB as for rent to different, unrelated, adults. Interesting development. Also interesting: turns out in Lansing AirBnB rentals have to meet the same rules that any normal, leased, non-racist rental has to. For example, the Bro house, which does not yet have a rental certificate, can't be leased to three unrelated adults at once. Could rather mess up the landlord's plans if this spurt of drama has made the city aware of this house and what's going on there.


Now let's get back to Pinball at the Zoo 2019, and hope that 2020's version, postponed from April to the start of October, does happen after all.

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Start of the final day. AND gets in some time with Genie.


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I guess Region Rat Pinball plays in Chicago, given the skyline here, but where in there I don't know. It's a great name anyway. Also, we're near enough Chicago that when Pinball At The Zoo is a circuit event, we get those ringers in.


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bunny_hugger figuring out what games she should try playing to better her standing.


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In the last minutes of open qualifying bunny_hugger decided to put in one last game on Laser Cue and see if maybe she could get out of the bottom-most ranking position in B Division. And ...


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So that last game of Laser Cue? here's what it did for bunny_hugger. (The people in green were restricted to playing in A, but did not score highly enough for A.) (The one extra hour of playing only for those who'd volunteered as scorekeepers knocked her into a tie for first place in B Division, but still, that's a great place to be.)


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Couple of white guys without beards making off with one of the daily tournament games. Don't tell!


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The practice of wearing head illumination is controversial among pinball players. Advocates argue that it's important, especially for people with ageing eyes, to be able to see tables that are often poorly lit, and that it can be done in an instantaneous way that does no damage to the game nor interfere with any other players or games. Detractors argue that when you wear it, you look like that. So both sides have a compelling argument.


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bunny_hugger won second place in B Division, and took home a trophy and the Monopoly translite that BIL thought she was picking ironically.


Trivia: France's couturieres' trade guild, formed in 1675, was initially specified as allowed to sew only for women and children, and only certain garments; in particular, they were forbidden to sew formal dresses, the exclusive property of tailors. Source: The Essence of Style: How the French Invented igh Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafés, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour, Joan DeJean.

Currently Reading: American X-Vehicles: An Inventory, Dennis R Jenkins, Tony Landis, Jay Miller. NASA SP-2003-4531. Sorry, caught up on the X-7, which tested out a couple different rocket engines including one using boron as a propellant. What is going on, 1950s, that you came across a proposal reading ``boron as rocket fuel'' and thought that could possibly be a good thing? I mean come on. (What they were thinking was boron compounds might solve some performance issues, and in a world where the boron just popped into existence long enough to burn and then popped back out again, it would. The trouble is it's a workplace and environmental toxic disaster so bad that it was recognized as a workplace and environmental toxic disaster by the standards of the 1950s.)