austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over

I should say a little about the venue for pinball league. Just over a block away there used to be a cute little cybercafe, dating back to the days when there were cybercafes, and bunny_hugger used to go there to grade or just to get out of the house. When I moved in I started going there too, sometimes. It was kind of what you might expect for a place named ``Gone Wired'', all slightly wobbly tables and booth seating salvaged from other restaurants and the occasional vegan muffin for sale. Earlier this year they got a liquor license, promising to be a cafe in the afternoons and a bar in the evenings, and what with our busy summer and semester we got out of the habit of stopping in there even occasionally, so we didn't really see what changed, even as it adopted a new name.

We got back there because the pinball league has its meetings there, because they also put in some pinball machines. It's been whacked repeatedly with a hipster stick. They've gone in for it big-time, down to the staff wearing ridiculous costumes (one of the women was even in a belly dancer-style outfit this week) and serving Pabst Blue Ribbon in Mason jars. (In fact, apparently they sell all their non-hot drinks in Mason jars.) They've turned Tuesday nights into a gaming night, which should be a good sign, with pinball league and board games and I don't even know what going on upstairs, and that all looks impressive enough for them, but any pretense to still being a cafe is obliterated, apart from I can still get tea there. They don't even open before 3 pm anymore; even the regular bars in town are open for lunch. We'll see how this works out for them.

bunny_hugger hadn't had anything to eat since lunch, long long ago, and she'd hoped to get something light to eat in-between turns. But the days when they served vegan muffins or the like were apparently gone, and they only offered a menu of heftier items like bowls of chili or bundles of ironic tacos or the like. More, while she tried to just order something from the bar, the way I'd got tea, but they insisted she had to either order stuff to eat at the bar or to sit at a table to be served. She explained, twice before it took, that she was there for pinball league and they said they could take the order from the pinball area. That's a couple feet off to the side of the bar. So bunny_hugger and the server both walked about five feet to the side, and she ordered a bowl of vegetarian chili and they brought it around to her. This all seems like they've produced something far sillier than they could have possibly meant.

Trivia: By the end of 1935, according to the United States Department of Justice, IBM had installed in the United States 4,303 calculating machines; 4,106 sorters; 8,412 punched card devices; and had sold four billion cards. Source: Before The Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand, and the Industry They Created, 1865 - 1956, James W Cortada.

Currently Reading: Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II, Ronald Takaki.


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