austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Never thinking of the future; prove yourself

Our last Saturday looked like the best chance we'd have to go back to the Shore. We'd wanted to see Casino Pier, of course, what what remained of the FunTown Pier, and that's what we aimed for, while we wondered when and under what circumstances we'd be able to visit again.

Casino Pier was closed, naturally, although the Floyd Moreland carousel was open and just barely running. There weren't many people around and we had a ride to ourselves, one without the organ playing and even without the CD playing. Possibly it was so slow because it was in the afternoon and a couple days after New Year's and the boardwalk-side entrance was inaccessible because of renovations to the pizza counter there.

While we sat around having some soda, a mob of people walked through the construction entrance and up to the carousel. It was a wedding party (as one of the parents grinned while explaining), and bride and groom and a dozen or so people among the party and two elderly folks I took to be parents loaded onto the ride, for some pictures and for one severely imbalanced ride. It was also a ride for which the bride and her maids got away with riding sidesaddle because there's just no other way, really. It was toward the end when some of the groomsmen started riding sideways or backwards that it seemed to be getting out of control to me.

bunny_hugger pointed out this isn't the first time we've had a wedding party come to a carousel while we were watching. We think it was the Columbus Day 2011 visit to Cedar Point when our side trip to the Merry-Go-Round Museum coincided with a wedding party's. We're going to have to keep track of these.

We went out on the boardwalk, to walk down to the firebreak at least and to see what we could find. We'd probably have spent more time looking at the remains --- and by this time there weren't many --- but it was cold, much colder than the ambient temperature suggested, because there was still a lot of snow on the boardwalk and I suppose the breeze off the water and the fact the boardwalk had air underneath made our feet just freeze solid. Even a quick stop into one of the arcades didn't warm us up enough to want to linger.

It wasn't quite 5 pm yet, but Seaside Heights was closing up for the night, for pretty good reason considering. So we left, driving north and not along the most coastal highway because parts of that were blocked off for construction. That diversion took us near the college where I'd adjuncted, and also past the Carousel Ice Cream Shop, which hasn't got an actual carousel but does operate out of a building designed to look like one that houses carousels. They were open but it was way too cold to even consider stopping.

Where we did stop was Kaya's Kitchen, in Belmar, which after a couple false starts was finally open for us. They had a new menu, throwing us by taking off their vegetarian pork roll and no longer explicitly having their simulated chicken wings. They've gone to a much more vegan menu since we were there last. It's still a great spot and we found simulated chicken nuggets on the appetizer menu that we could pretty much start eating and never finish; it's just that little challenge to find the new favorites.

Probably because it was Saturday they had a couple performers tucked in a corner, playing guitars and getting some really pretty remarkable sounds out of acoustic guitars with whatever kinds of setup they do for this sort of thing. (I was facing away from them most of the time so I don't know just what they did have.) I did go over to them after dinner to say how I'd liked the sound, which they probably like, and to put something in the tip jar, which they probably like better.

And, being well-fed, we went a little farther north yet and to the Silverball museum. They'd gotten in a machine I was eager to see bunny_hugger play: the Doctor Who pinball. It's a pretty fun machine, though I failed utterly at the Dalek multiball so couldn't show the best part of the game off to her. The game, which came out in 1993 or so, features all the classic seven doctors in various modes, and playfield art that bunny_hugger thought aptly captured the various Doctors and key companions, and has a backglass display of the seven Classic Doctors that ... isn't so on-model. Still, it's a fun game.

bunny_hugger also had an excellent game of The Wizard of Oz, far better than any I've had (that I remember). She built up to above a hundred thousand points, which is darned good as it's a low-scoring machine, and she reached a respetable fraction of the machine's high scores.

The Silverball Museum has picked up more classic arcade games, to the point that it's getting to be a bit worrisomely 1983 in there, but it has got some interesting old machines. It's also got a couple of those retro arcade packages where a hundred games are stuffed into one cabinet, which is how bunny_hugger got to play Pengo for the first time in decades. Pengo is a Dig-Dug type game, starring penguins, trying to crush Sno-Bees with ice blocks. bunny_hugger was far better at this than I could ever hope to be, and got to some of the intermission screens, one of which includes a line of penguins dancing to Beethoven's Ode to Joy done as only early-80s eight-bit video game machines can do it.

And, we went home, catching one of those new-effects Star Trek episodes, ``Wolf In The Fold'', which stands out mostly because it throws in a particularly gratuitously sexist line of dialogue. It seems like there's a bunch of episodes like that, mostly in the second season; too bad.

Trivia: A December 1853 Michigan prohibition law provided that enactment would depend on the law's passing a public referendum, but that if the public rejected enactment the law would go into force in 1870. In 1854 the State Supreme Court struck the law down on the grounds the legislature could not pass a bill dependent on a popular vote. Source: Michigan: A History Of The Great Lakes State, Bruce A Rubenstein, Lawrence E Ziewacz.

Currently Reading: Ingenious Pursuits: Building The Scientific Revolution, Lisa Jardine.


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