Archive for the ‘hobbies’ Category

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.

My reviews of Stephen Budiansky’s soon to be released volume Perilous Fight America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas 1812-1815 are now available both at here and at via the Amazon vine program here.

If you are looking for a book that is a play by play of the cannon balls of the fleet such as Preble’s boys you will likely be disappointed but Budiansky does cover a lot of aspects of the War that have been given short shift by other historians.

Oh and I suspect the William Bainbridge fan club will take Budiansky off their Christmas list.

But I have to agree with hyacinth girl concerning Pete Postlethwaite:

Spielberg called him the best actor in the world, a statement I cannot dismiss as hyperbolic; he was an amazing actor. He was anyone, anything, any time — for someone with such a distinctive face, he had the uncanny ability to blend into and become a part of the fabric of any film he was part of, while never becoming invisible. He simply was whatever character he was cast as, and he never once seemed to be acting. You believed he was whomever he claimed to be, and he was riveting.

My primary memory of him is from the Sharpe Series as Sgt Obadiah Hakeswill. He was also excellent as a lawyer in Amistad and as George Merry in the best version of Treasure Island there ever was (with Charlton Heston as Long John Silver).

I do not ever remember him giving a bad performance and thanks to the miracle of video he will be enjoyed many generations after his death.

Thanks Pete, well done!

You know it when you dream that your wife has taken you to a shop that specializes in Doctor Who stuff and in the dream the owner hands you a 14 foot Tom Baker Scarf and you wake up just as he hands it to you and am about to put it on!

You would think at age 47 I wouldn’t wake up with a huge smile at that point but I did. Sometimes I think men at heart never stop being kids. (The proof is yesterday my youngest got the Complete Three Stooges Yesterday and when he went to call his 55-year-old uncle to tell him his delight that same uncle shared his own delight at the very same gift!)

Speaking of which don’t think we didn’t notice that during yesterday’s Doctor Who Christmas special A Christmas Carol (which BBC America sneakily put on at the same time as my show, so I had to watch the steam online several hours earlier) that the little kid was wearing a Baker scarf at one point given to him by the 11th Doctor.

Other than the opening which makes Christmas simply the “winter solstice” (consist with the praying to Santa nonsense in The Eleventh Hour and the ignoring of the consequences of non-timelords meeting themselves in a time-line (Maudwin Undead) it was a cute sentimental story that is very enjoyable.

However I didn’t find it timeless, I have a nasty feeling that Steven Moffat is stuck on the same gimmick and can’t get off of it. You will like it but will you want to watch it again and again?

There’s the rub.