Archive for November 20, 2021

Not everything went well in the Virginia elections, and its important to point out what could be better.

Let’s look at fundraising, specifically for the House of Delegates. Now, the House of Delegates doesn’t get as much attention as the governor race, but all 100 delegates were up for election, and since they make the laws, having control is important. In close races, Republicans fell short on fundraising by a lot, and had they raised a bit more, might have swung a few more elections.

In District 10, Republicans lost by ~500 votes, but were outspent by over 1 million dollars

In District 21, Republicans lost by ~200 votes, but were outspent by $500,000 dollars

In District 93, Republicans lost by ~1,000 votes, but were outspent $333K to $62K

Clearly, this is a problem. Spending doesn’t always predict winning (see NJ) but it does enable more ads, more flyers, more rallies and more travel. Delegates don’t get big press coverage and struggle to get their name out there, and fundraising makes all the difference.

Let’s talk about apathy next. While there was a lot of energy, there are nearly as many curmudgeons that refused to vote, refused to donate, and refused to be poll watchers, but had plenty of time to whine and complain about politics. I’ll call these people the “Commenting Peasants,” because they won’t lift a finger to help the issues that they claim to care about, but many are all thumbs when making comments on Reddit or other social media sites. Republicans have a lot of these people. Close elections, especially delegate elections, come down to very few votes, and unless people start shaming these “Commenting Peasants” to stick their comments where the sun doesn’t shine and get their butts out to vote, Republicans will continue to lose close elections.

Early voting is here to stay, yet Republicans didn’t have a “drive to vote” group going. That was a huge mistake. The Campaign Sidekick app I had told me to ask people about who they would vote for, but I had no way of putting someone on a list to be driven to a voting station. Why on earth not?

Lastly, why on earth didn’t we hear more from Winsome Sears and Jason Miyares? In person, these people are excellent speakers, better in my opinion than Youngkin. I’ll say it now, Sears needs to be groomed to run for governor next time around. These two should have been featured in more ads and more speaking engagements.

That’s the bad as I see it. Nothing critical that cost Republicans, but plenty of areas where more attention could have picked up more votes and more delegate seats.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you liked this post, consider purchasing the authors book for you or a friend.

Day two of Pintastic NE is always interesting because machines keep coming in the vendors are set up but its not yet the weekend so there is still a bit less of a crowd to compete for time.

I talked to Greg and Shawn who were not here together but met here,

There is a lot of meeting people who are into the hobby here and hanging out, after all why watch a game alone when you can play two, three or four and socialize a bit (and rest your wrists).

One of the things that I’ve seem this more than any other has been the rise of “Homebrew” games. These are games that are designed and made by individuals for themselves. One such creator was Zachary Frey who created a rather unique game called Poker that rather than a backglass has it’s screen built into the body of the game. We talked about his creation:

This is one of the cleverest games I’ve played in a while. it has an interesting extra two button feature with a Maga save on the left and a pop up that can save a ball about to drain on the right.

A much fancier and more recognizable game was Ferris Bueller’s day off I talked to the designer and the artist.

There are only two copies of this game (which is double the production of Zach’s Poker game) and I must admit I felt very old when Redi (who is a delightful lady who I shared a game of Twilight Zone with later) said she had to watch the movie when Brian approached her about doing the game as it came out the year she was born.

There was a constant line in front of this game and I didn’t get to it until late that night. One should always play homebrew games at events such as this as it’s likely the only time you will ever see these games.

Later on in the day I ran into Jeff the hot sauce guy. He had been set up at Pintastic NE2019 and I thought at the time it was an odd mix for the place, but he was back and with an expanded product line.

Apparently hot sauces and Pinball mix pretty well. It was also interesting to hear how COVID effected his business.

There are all kind of accessories available for pinball machines one of the coolest ones I saw was a vest to be used with a sound system that was being demoed at the Pinnovators booth

It looked too cool not to try myself so Sandra kindly took over the camera and I got strapped in and gave it a go while playing Areosmith.

The Venders hall was packed and one of the big games was Legends of Valhalla. I played it a couple of times and found it my favorite of the new games there (so far). I talked to Shawn of Maine Home Recreation that was carrying the game.

The American Pinball company (which made one of my favorites from 2019 Octoberfest) is creating some excellent games for the hobby.

And old favorite is Stern Pinball was well represented by special guest and pinball designers John Borg who I was able to get a few minutes with:

Their brand new Godzilla machine was everywhere and all with lines in front of them. The lines were well earned as it’s an excellent game.

Of course Pintastic would not be Pintastic without Todd Tuckey. He gave a seminar on how to avoid buying a pinball Lemon online which was too long to put here but he gave me ten minutes during the afterparty.

Alas I could not embed the link in the video he was referring to put I’ve got the clip here from Pintastic 2017 that he was referring to here.

ah the days when I still had both of my front teeth but on the bright side I’ve finally stopped calling Todd: “Tom”

Well that’s all for now it’s just after 10 AM on day three as I’m finishing this and there is pinball to play and interview to do, so we’ll be back tomorrow with day 3 stuff.