Archive for January, 2012

22
Jan
12

Daytrip No. 2 National Pinball Museum Baltimore,Power Plant, Inner Harbor

A row of Vintage Machines from the 50s and 60s, More than 25 in all

Last fall I was on the web researching the origins of Captain Fantastic Pinball Great and discovered that the National Pinball Museum was relocated from Georgetown to Baltimore. My question is that’s the best thing that has ever happened to that Museum. Get the hell out of D.C. Let’s just our fickle city embraces this treasure of great potential. In the same way the government muscle gets behind institutions like the National Aquarium and The Port Discovery with signage and fast track improvement through the bureaucracy, The Mayor needs to get down to the pinball museum for this place is a gem in the making, one of the true defining flavors that can keep Baltimore unique and dissolve into touristy schlock.
On Saturday after an ice storm the kids and I made our way at the location at Power Plant for an afternoon playing the history of the silver ball. All I could think of if this place existed back in the day, it would have changed my life — I don’t know if that would have been a good thing.

Twelve bucks got you a debit type card which you could swipe from machine to machine. By doing so I took time to notices the sublets between machines which wasn’t hard considering one point I could be playing a baseball game from 1952 to Ted Nugent 1978. It’s amazing to note the subtleties in the bells, the ruthless small flippers of the past the rush to heap all kinds of glitz a la The Guns and Roses machine of the 80s. I was digging all of it, the woodworking and the hand pumps from the early days to slim down elegance of the 70s.I recalled the moment when we were dazzled when machines started going out with electric light score keepers instead of the rolling numbers. The folks at the museum were cool enough to let my nine-year old slide without a card considering she wouldn’t be playing any games on her own.

The moment when this six year old gets pinball

Being weened on Video and Computer, DS, pinball was a great leap for her and her younger sister. The only time they ever experience pinball was an app on my iTouch. They seemed to get a drawn in a bit, but in the end it was me who they had to drag out kicking and screaming. These pinballs after all we seen as the downfall of civilization way before Atari showed up. I tried to stave them off by telling them that maybe we could be regulars that after a while they would nail these games, just as repeated play makes them experts out of Wii, that they would emerge as pinball wizards kicking boys’ butts. But they weren’t having none of that and we scooted with still time on the card. But I’ll be back.
Some of the cool games: Funhouse, The Creature of the Black Lagoon. Dirt Bike and the soccer. The display of the earliest, primitive models on the first floor was also impressive.

The graphics by itself is worth the trip, every bit as influential as comics.

21
Jan
12

Baltimore Vs. The World and why I love The Ravens Chance on Sunday

Ravens play with a chip on shoulder better than any team in the NFL.

Baltimore Vs. The World.Written to the tune of “Seven Nations’ Army.”

It’s the Baltimore Ravens versus the World and I wouldn’t have it any
other way. Although I admit, it was hard to stomach the spleening
spewing from our supposed fans all over the radio waves this week and
I did grimace as one pundit after another lined up behind the hype
that is The New England Patriots. The most gave us our Defense are a
bunch of hall of famers that might be an Irritant for Brady as he
marches his way into another yawn Superbowl. Our offense was spinning
it’s wheels about our Hapless Quarterback who better just hope he can
do a Trent Dilfer imitation and maybe he can repeat another Superbowl
appearance. Funny how bigger the game the more people duck under the
myths rather than reality. They must have forgotten the colossal
beatdown The Ravens put on the vaunted Steelers during the opening
Season. It wasn’t just the defense, Joe Flacco orcrastrated those
drives like a mystro. He wasn’t lighting it up in the air like the
glory boys. He made his strikes and then gave ‘em a dose of Rice. It
was greatest beatdown that I’ve ever personally witnessed and that
includes The Colts – The Baltimore Colts.

Funny the same resignation to impeding doom that splattered the
airwaves this week, was the same defeatism ick that was oozing was the
Ravens had to go up to Pittsburgh this season and get what we all knew
even back then would be a vital win. All focused on Joe how he never
beat Rothersburgher in his house, never mind much stench went to rest
of the team to that embarrassment the Ravens put on in the Playoff
defeat last year that ushered the Steeler to their umptinth Superbowl
Appearance.  Somehow there’s no mention, no memory how Flacco this
year lead The Ravens down field to steel a win in the last eight
seconds. And let’s look at how he did that. He threw twice of a
wobbling, insecure Rookie Speedster,  Torrey Smith. The first throw
was on the money and Smith dropped in the Endzone. But Joe went back
to him flying down the other sidelines the next play and Smith’s
career was no doubt saved that glorious catch. Nobody talks about
that. Just like nobody talks about Joe engineering the Ravens greatest
comeback in team history against the Arizona Cardinals when we were
down 24 points. Of course everyone not only discounts that win, but
indicts the Ravens as pretenders for even having to resort such
theatrics. Yeah sure and The Washington Redskins took it to The New
York Giants this season, you know the same team that is all but
crowned as this year’s Superbowl Champions.  Funny in football the
same critical eye isn’t applied to ever team. Even now the Steelers
are now defined as a weaker version of itself, although that may have
been due to the demonization that they received in Baltimore.
When it comes to New England Patriots, their laurels stand as thick
fog blocking the pundits. Brady, who has he really beaten? Was the to
toughest team he played was in fact the Denver Broncos, a media
fascination that at 8 and 8 lost three games as they stumbled into the
playoffs.

No problem. Baltimore Ravens thrives in this kind of gloom lighting.
We’re a dark team. I remember a quote from Josh McDaniels the Denver
Coach (who spooky-enough is cued up to take over the Pats Offense
Coordinator position) after getting their puts kicked after they
amassed a seven game wining streak. He said, “Our team just doesn’t
have that kind of anger.”

So I love the roll the Ravens have been handed. It’s a point of view
that I share in my life as I struggle against my personal BS to reach
my potential, the silliness that doubles as the thinking of the day
and unfortunately determines our fortunes. That’s why I wear the
Ravens colors.  No one wears a chip on their shoulders better than the
Baltimore Ravens.
New England is no better than t hey were back in the War of 1812 when
they sided with Mother England and bitched about our privateers and
cheered when the Brits were making their way to Baltimore to burn it
to the ground. We had something to say about that (See National
Anthem). If we bring the game that we open the season with once again,
lowly Baltimore will shock the world.

—end—