Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pinball in Allentown This Weekend!

If you love the pin and ball as do the Mackey Bros., check out the Pinball Wizards Convention this weekend at the Agri-Plex, in Allentown, PA. We'll be there Saturday; any more time spent there and my wife would have my head. It's $15 a day to get in, and you can play pinball all day for free. Our hands are usually aching by 5 or 6 p.m., but it's a happy day well spent (and afterwards, we eat at the Waffle House off the Interstate, which is the nearest one to my house). It's also a great place to buy or sell your machine. We are planning on bringing my three machines next year, all Gottliebs: Mayfair (1966), Roller Coaster (1971), and Spin Out (1975).

The Mayfair was a machine I picked up last October intending it to be a surprise Christmas gift for my wife and stepdaughters, but lack of suitable space in the house nixed that idea, so the machine is currently in storage. I won it on an eBay auction for $200, priced low because it wasn't working. (It turns out the guy I bought it from is employed by the same school system I teach in, as a bus driver.) Within a day or two of bringing it to my old house, I had the thing running again. I put about $200 worth of new parts on it, including new rubbers and some new lane guides, and it looks and plays like a champ. The playfield on this one is in outstanding shape. Roller Coaster and Spin Out were purchased in the late 1980's-early 1990's and were on location in arcades near me - the Roller Coaster was at the old Palace Amusements in Asbury Park, while the Spin Out was purchased from Buccaneer Bill's arcade in Lavalette. They haven't been set up lately, so I'm just wondering what they're going to do once under power again.

All-Stars Already?

Voting has been opened for this year's All-Star Game, which is being held this year at the soon-to-be-demolished original Yankee Stadium. Go to the MLB website and vote. Back in my day, you had to send in punch cards which had the most likely candidates. If you wanted Bobby Pfeil on the team, for some odd reason, you had to write him in. The online ballot works much the same way.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

When Irish Eyes Are Voted Off By The Great Unwashed

The Los Angeles Times' Richard Rushfield on the unfortunate voting-off of Carly Smithson on "American Idol".

I had Carly to win. Really. The more I saw her, the more I liked of her performances and her feisty and fun Irish attitude. (If they ever decide to remake "The Commitments", here's your girl.)

UPDATE: The Idol Tour Dates have been announced. Carly and the gang will be rolling into Atlantic City on Saturday, August 2nd, with an on-sale date of Saturday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Da Mets

As you can tell, I've been strangely silent on the issue of the New York Mets so far this season. If you've come late to the party, be it known that I am now in my 42nd year as a New York Mets Fan, having first embraced the team in the latter days of Casey Stengel's run as manager.

It seems to me that in spite of the same personnel (except maybe Pedro, who's out with hammy issues), the Mets team that has taken the field this week (and won all five of their games so far) is a lot more together than the team who played the first two weeks of the season. And it's great that the Mets are taking the Phillies to the cleaners, as that team did them dirty last year, especially near the end. This excites me no end.

But I'm still waiting for that no-hitter. All that pitching talent and no goose-eggs to show for it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

It's (Almost) Harry McCracken Day

This is a heretofore unseen picture from December 28, 2007. You all know what happened on that day. As with a similar ceremony on October 15, 1994, I said, "You know who needs to be a part of this? Mr. Harry McCracken." It was in his presence that I proposed to Tracy, so after all he was very deserving of a place in my wedding party for the second time. I've known Harry for almost two decades, and can't think of anyone else who could have stood at my side (besides my brother) at this affair.

Anyway, April 2 (about one hour away as I write this) is Harry's birthday, so I hope you'll all be wishing him a merry xxth birthday.

Miss Me on "Millionaire"?

In markets that air two episodes of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", this Thursday you can see the episode that I was featured on last season.