New Thing #160: Pinball Hall of Fame


I’m no pinball wizard. In fact I’m no pinball sorcerer, cleric or magician. But I like it and sometimes I get lucky.

A few years ago I found out about The Pinball Hall of Fame on a John C. Dvorak podcast. And, as luck would have it, it’s in Las Vegas.

Entry is free and every quarter you put in a machine goes to charity. And there are dozens upon dozens of lovingly restored pinball machines and classic arcade cabinets to choose from.

I started out on the one machine I played enough in my youth to feel confident on: Star Trek The Next Generation. Pretty much everything I hit triggered an awesome wave of nostalgia. Plus I love pulling the trigger on that first ball every single time.

I moved on to some 50s era machines which have the tiniest flippers ever. They might as well have belonged to a baby penguin. The artwork on those machines was über cool though, and restored to perfection. I even checked out a 4 Square machine; years ahead of it’s time that one was.

My favorite machine though had to be the one in the video; Elvira. Aside from the obvious reasons (my love of schlocky horror, right?) this machine just felt the best. Elvira’s constant conversation was spot on and it seemed like everything my balls came in contact with jumped, bounced or screamed. Ok, that sounded terrible, get your mind out of the gutter.

I loved this place, and given the cost and time played it was a way better investment than the slots in our casino.



New Thing #157: Las Vegas



When I was in college my friend Irene introduced me to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Even though I’ve never been into the whole drug scene, the frantic, exciting and explosive nature of Hunter S Thompson’s novel enthralled me and made me yearn for a crazy Vegas weekend of my own.

It’s been a long time since I read that book for the first time but I’ve never lost the hope that I’d get to Vegas eventually. And here I am. In an airport. With slot machines.

Now where’s my hotel at, ’cause I’m old now and tired from that flight.

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