austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I need something to hold on to

The other thing we did last weekend was visit Ann Arbor. We went Sunday, even though that's the worse weekend day, so we could get to the Lansing bowling thing, so maybe that was a mistake. Also because of the time change we got started an hour late. I'd assumed our alarm clock was set to Daylight Saving Time and it just wasn't.

Since we got into town relatively late we didn't have lunch at Ashley's and the search for a bathroom brought us into University of Michigan buildings, particularly, the graduate student library, which was gorgeous: lush and well-apportioned in that way that libraries from wealthy schools from before World War II were. We might well have wandered around just in there all day, looking at stained-glass windows and gorgeous woodwork and artistic elements all around the upper walls and the hallway arches, with vaguely medieval-manuscript representations of animals from wyverns to squirrels. bunny_hugger had brought her new camera to get photos of Ann Arbor and this gave her a good workout to start.

Afterwards we went over towards Middle Earth, which we'd missed the last time we were in Ann Arbor (also on a Sunday), and I'm sure you'll be shocked to know it used to be a head shop. If you squint you can still make that out, but it's gone more into ... well, whatever you call it when a head shop has gotten respectable and is also selling remarkably good birthday cards and jewelry and Doctor Who merchandise and Fruit Stripe chewing bum, which apparently still exists. It's a fun place, the kind where you can spend an hour looking through the postcards and not feel like you're wasting time.

Across the street from that is Pinball Pete's, Ann Arbor branch, which suffered a flood (water main break) last month. But it was opened again, something I learned not from their unhelpful web site but from people tweeting about it. (Also people tweeting that there was a Pinball Pete's in East Lansing too, and feeling betrayed, and only the worse betrayed for learning that the East Lansing was the original.) They were open and they looked good, although the first pinball machine we tried --- Star Trek: The Next Generation --- had a bad flipper. It'd flip up, but not hold, which makes aiming terrible. We'd needed to leave, but I didn't want to leave on that down beat, so, tried Theater of Magic, which also had a flipper with the same glitch. Also, the Magic Chest --- the most important target in the game --- wasn't reliably registering hits, so, I'm going to suppose that this is all flood-related and they're trying to catch up to normal.

Trivia: A canal diverted from Niagara falls in 1882 had seven small industries as water wheel customers, including pulp and flower mills and an Oneida silver-plating factory. Source: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World, Jill Jonnes.

Currently Reading: The Airships Akron and Macon, Richard K Smith.


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