30 July 2011

ChiLlaXin in SeAttLe

7 states - 2740 miles - 10 days - 18mpg - 3 games

Oh man - the Tundra has a new K&N intake system and a new 3” exhaust pipe with a Magnaflow installed. It not only eats the pavement it purrs pretty about it now and rumbles 4.7L V8 like it should. I had just busted a roadtrip across 110º Kansas 2 weeks prior with it and finished out my Yohama tires. Moving games with trailer and so many trips to Oklahoma in 2010 .. it spanked me one day after Kansas with ‘nope.. my battery is dead.’ I took it as a sign to get those long-awaited upgrades I wanted. 4 Michelins, tuff Interstate battery, pipes/intake - time for the precious game-hauler to get my attentions and time. Respect ... Mr, new good Michelin tires are like a flipper rebuild: brand new again!

So nice to ‘just do it’ and get up to Seattle and my good friend Craig. Sometime 2008 when he was stoked by my game passions he decided to find a fave pin. He located a beauty EM Sinbad in Spokane and somehow got it back to his place. Restoration long and limited space unfortunately kept this pin in his garage eventually. I traded him my Danelectro for it (I already have too many guitars, and he can gig with it), great appreciation for the fact that he found not only a sweet pin but the better and rarer EM version. So that was the 2nd reason to get up there - pick up the pin. Might as well put some more game in my available truck bed. ; )
Thanks to an email from a cool dude in Coeur D’Alene, ID, I filled that space. Somehow now the rare stupid Universal ‘Cosmic Series’ row will begin .. this makes 2. Right on, hey, you know, I might even have some more room for ‘that pin’ in Ogden.

Fast forward to the last shuttle, Atlantis, orbiting the earth. Picture a man intent on the NASA channel late night Houston ops, monitoring (hovering again oogling calling me back listing can’t forget seeing it incredible wow) ‘that pin’ on his ebay page. Call me NASA sentimental .. it was too good to forget. I can pick it up in Utah on the way back with the 2 games loaded in WA. Sweet giddy game ... there’s soon to be an Orbitor 1 in the collection!
OK .. gotta go gotta go!

So then planned for packin and rollin, a week with good friend and chillaxin like the prescription called for, perfect. Thanks for the recharged batteries, Craig! Loaded and smooth, an awesome drive all-in-all. It’s good to again be back bringing games home in this Toyota. I love the open road ... so easy to zone-out listening to my iPod and just drive 1000 miles/day watching countryside. “When you don’t know where you’re goin’, any road will take you there.”

Time enough too to head over and see the Grand Coulee Dam and some pretty NW places, eating local Washington apples listenin’ to Guthrie.

19 July 2011

Vidhead Pin Collector

Pinside . com

Good MOJO ... games. Play as a route to insight and creation ... good mantra. Better karma yet if you resurrect an antique player and give it new life and love again (especially if you can learn something along the way). Chalk another credit if you can make others smile because of it too.
That's what it's all about and why I like doing this. I started collecting 80s vintage video games in 2006. Berzerk, Defender, and somewhere after 30 sweet more projects of blissful video collecting and fixing, a go-ahead from my long-quiet pinhead wife brought me my Firepower. I got my PBM skills brushed a bit then indeed and proceeded to fall into the same passion as the videos. I haven't stopped .. and I don't intend to.
I was 14 in 1980 .. played Death Race in the shopping mall and watched color come into being in those places as my Sears PONG home player wore out. I can remember riding my BMX over to the gas station and watching Eric master the (red) Donkey Kong sitting in the back. He'd flip the credits with a straw if he needed - although he didn't usually because he never had to stop his killscreen quarter except for the slurpee break. I watched big kids master the Major Havoc in our Putt-Putt arcade as I poured out my paperboy cash into the Berzerk over in the other small room. That Op had every cool game as it came into being. Dad would bowl some weeks and I would find the vid there in the alley and wrestle as many 25¢ I could from him those nights. I would walk up to our local bowling alley with friends as much as I could for a shot at that Galaxian high score. Like those golden age games, I was gone too by 1983 .. my Mustang and girlfriend kept me pretty busy by then as did HS and points beyond 'games'. (Little did I realize how much they fueled a good POV through my life). Heck, my first good color Mac in college got more Spectre time than any writing--it was Battlezone again!
The pins. The pins were always there (and they always will be). Sometimes we got a chance with the folks to get down to our huge places here in Denver. Places like Celebrity Sports Center, Malibu Gran Prix, or some bigger places in the S malls like Cinderella City. Oh man .. (long torn down now like all I'm sad to say) Celebrity had the best pinball collection - it was a shrine. Those early Williams machines especially just made that place an incredible powerhouse of sound and spectacle. It's cool that collectors around local still talk of those pins (which still hover around here in places) .. the Op there had CC'd the play fields before use. You can imagine ... the Black Knight(s) are still glassy fresh.
It's an honor to be a part of this restoration community. I constantly restore my 1895 abode here in Colorado and I really enjoy game collecting. Now that I own many of these games I so loved in the 70s and 80s I'm proud to share my quarter with you and play them again. Thanks for listenin' to my little story, fellow gamer. Find that game you love to play. Get yourself a nice soldering iron and a good digital multimeter, learn some things with some good friends online - trust me. You will have much fun and good mojo rising. I'll see you around the chats. Be well. : )
/Steve MacDonald (FastRMacR)