austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Music is the doctor, makes you feel like you want to

And since I had some more time I went up to Asbury Park to play pinball. The Silverball Museum was ... actually, it surprised me by being officially closed for about a half-hour after I arrived, reserved for a private party of some kind. I couldn't tell what, but since there was a pile of about seven jillion pizza boxes I'm supposing that it was a birthday party and not, say, a wedding reception. I figured I could hang out somewhere and maybe drink a soda or have a slice of pizza while I waited, but realized there weren't any pizza places I was confident I could find within walking distance, and I'd paid for a couple hours of parking before going up to the museum, so instead I just got a soda from a boardwalk vendor and sat in my rental car listening to X Minus One. If I have it right it was ``The Discovery Of Morniel Mathaway'', which I thought was a Robert Sheckley story in which Sheckley (or the scriptwriters who adapted it) managed to keep his most irritating writing tics under control while keeping the funny parts intact. It was in fact written by William Tenn. Shows what I know.

The Silverball Museum was in good order, though, when it started letting us mere mortals in again. It's still got the Jersey Jack The Wizard of Oz up front as the big centerpiece game, and still magnificent. It might be more magnificent in the dark as it was by then, given all the lighting effects. What had changed, besides the usual rotation of pinball machines, was their Machine of the Month: Doctor Who. This was an early 90s pinball that I thought at the time was good but not great and a little bit confusingly arranged. That was a lot of pinball-playing ago, for me.

Now, though, I find it a much better game. I think that's mostly because I'm better skilled at some of the shots that are needed for the most fun parts of the game to activate. It also helps that now I know enough of Classic Who lore that the various game references aren't just a blur of things. But also now I appreciate that, for example, the multiball is triggered by this upper-field gadget that you load balls into and that elevates to two distinct levels. I can see now how this strategy derives particularly from Pin-Bot (one of the all-time greats) while expanding on the concept, rather well, too. I'm looking forward to bringing my wife to play it.

Trivia: Sometime in July 1794 aboard the Soon prototype meter and kilogram units from the French government arrived in the United States. They were presented in August 1794 to Secretary of State Edmond Randolph, but never shown to Congress. Source: Measuring America: How The United States Was Shaped By The Greatest Land Sale In History, Andro Linklater.

Currently Reading: The Taste Of War: World War II and the Battle for Food, Lizzie Collingham.


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