austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We're born again, there's new grass on the field

Pinball league's started up again this week. It's not even been quite a full month since the league last got together, but it's felt longer, partly because we spent so much time away from home, which always feels longer than it actually is. And partly it's felt long because when we've gone down to the hipster bar to play we haven't run into our friends. Probably they were just busy with the pre-semester crunch, as so many of them are connected to schools in one way or another.

And on the Facebook group ahead of the start of the season there was considerable despair about the shape the machines were in. Part of that is that, yeah, the machines could be in better shape --- Medieval Madness had a problem with the drawbridge prop getting stuck, and World Cup Soccer had a broken dot-matrix display, although both these problems were fixed by game time --- and part of it is, I think, some kind of pre-season jitters that people encourage in one another. But we had a good turnout, including a number of people come from Grand Rapids to play (that's about an hour away), and for this season we started playing four games a night rather than the three before.

After regular play some of the new folks suggested a dollar tournament, where all the participants put in a dollar for the prize pot. I figured, what have I got to lose (a dollar per game, it turns out), and had a great first ball on World Cup Soccer which almost got me the win. Our league's champion, though, squeezed out ahead of everyone on the last ball. On the second go-round, Attack From Mars, I started off with a bad first ball and never recovered. Ah well. It's just fun to hang around people playing way better than me.

Meanwhile, I've been failing to gather organized lists of my recent mathematics blogs so as to draw attention to them. Let me fix that here. Run since the last mathematics blog roundup have been:

Trivia: A log house built in Norway in 1250 still stands (albeit in a museum). Source: A Splintered History of Wood, Spike Carlsen.

Currently Reading: A Nation Of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters, Scott Reynolds Nelson.


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