Wednesday, August 24, 2011



  When I first met my wife, back when I was still just a visitor to the fair state of Indiana, I remember one of the first "getting to know you" things we talked about was pinball. She told me that her late grandfather had pinball machines, currently languishing in a pole building deep in the bowels of Indiana. "Which games?", I asked. She replied "Oh, I think it's like the Simpsons or something". But that's a story for another time...
     On our first real date, we went to a bar just down the street from her apartment, with the promise that a game lived on location. After literally taking a shortcut through a dilapidated fence, across  a backyard and onto College Ave, we arrived at Moe & Johnny's, where, in the gloomiest part of the bar, sat a neglected Scared Stiff. Now for the next two years, we played this particular game religiously (until it was removed and replaced with one of those punching-bag-douche-meter games, second only to Golden Tee in bar games gone awry). Pins are few and far between in this city, and not taking advantage of one right outside your door was criminal. But one constant always remained, at least for me: My drink always sat directly under the game. It didn't matter if a table happened to be scooted next to us. When my ball came up, under the game it went.
     Now I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this. Necessity is the mother of invention. But even now, down in my basement, I catch myself slinging a beer bottle underneath the cabinet of a game. It's become a superstition of sorts. Like the beer is radiating out of the bottle, into the game, up through the playfield and imbuing the ball with a bit of the sauce. And when the ball drains, it just feels....I don't know, kinda nostalgic to pretend I'm back at Moe & Johnny's, kneeling down to grab the bottle by the neck, reaching into my pocket for another $2.00 worth of quarters, pumping them in and pressing the button for two players.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What a month...

After a month or so of some unexpected time & sanity consuming setbacks, imma try and get back into the swing of pinblogging. Let's get back to business...

There's no way around it. Pinball is an expensive hobby. Sure, there are plenty of deals to be found in the maelstrom of Craigslist and other pinball classifieds, but: 1. You've gotta have the cash up front, and 2. You've gotta have proper transportation for hauling pins. Alas, I have neither of these. Of my three pins, 2 were free, and one was less than what we pay for dog food in a month. To be fair, all needed extensive repairing, which also costs money, but creativity can lend to a reduction of cost in this department. So what to do you're jonesin' for a new game, no pins are on location, AND you're broke?

I like to hit the books. Or zines. Multiball was an awesome '90's self published zine out of Portland, Oregon, which is now a pinball mecca itself. Imagine Maximimrocknroll with pinball thrown in, and you're pretty close to the feel of Multiball. Tales of ribaldry in houses of ill-repute, all while keeping a focus on the silver ball is the agenda here. I found most of these zines through a generous soul on RGP, and for the price of a cube of Miller Lite, my desires for new pinball exploits could be somewhat sated through pictures and the written word. Also, Jon Chad and Alec Longstreth had a great feature on the publishers, Brinda Coleman & SD Soule, in their own amazing pinball/comics publication,  Drop Target. Brinda and Sam even own the pinball stomping grounds Slabtown in Portland, making me all the more jealous of the western seaboard's affinity for pinball.

Maybe by the end of this summer I can scrape up enough for another bargain game. But until then, keep your minds sharp, pinheads. Read some pinball.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Surprised this hasn't happened sooner. Either I get a wet/dry vac, or pick all this up with tweezers. Oh well. At least I got the flippers working right on Space Shuttle.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


So while we hid in the basement last Wednesday during the storm-a-thon, I decided that while I was down there I might as well get my games set up from our recent move here. This is the first time the've all been in the same room! All seemed to survive OK, but Kewpie Doll and Hula Hula both had some issues with the plunger plate coming loose/off. Weird.

I also finally got fed up with the weak left flipper on KD, and decided to replace the coil and sleeve. Yeah, coils aren't supposed to get weak, they just work or don't, but this sure seemed to make a difference. Probably the addition of a new sleeve didn't hurt either. Next up I want to replace the whole bushing/linkage and do it right.

Hopefully I'm going to get down to Fountain Square sometime this week...word is the building that has Duck Pin Bowling also has some EM's lurking in there. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Report from the Road: Columbus, Ohio

My mom had a new robo-hip installed last week, and I volunteered to escort her to Columbus for the procedure. Fortunately, the clinic was right downtown, and only a few miles from the Short North. And having done some prior research, it seemed like there was a smattering of places to play pinball in Cowtown.
Well, maybe not even smattering. I found only two solid leads, both which produced machines though. First was the Tip Top Kitchen, only a quick jaunt from the hospital. I got pretty excited about this place, as a YouTube video shows an owner playing a Bally Future Spa, which might be the most ridiculous theme/backglass ever to grace a machine.
 I was pumped to put some quarters into one in the wild, but alas, it seems that it has long since been removed, with a well-playing (but lackluster in comparison) Monopoly in its place. It should be noted that the Tip Top has a fantastic draft selection, and the machine is crammed into the darkest spot in the place, which would be great except for the adjacent staff service door which blasts you with sunlight every so often, reminding you that there is an outside world waiting for you once your last ball drains.

The next day found me at Suzi Cue on N. 4th, very close to my brother's old apt. from way back when. Upon entering, an Attack From Mars could be seen in the very back, being hammered away on by one of the 2 other patrons in this cavernous pool hall. When she finally left, I was impressed with her last score (something in the 11,000,000,000 range!). I think my best has been 9,000,000,000, and needless to say I didn't even get close to that on this day. Also, the display on this particular AFM was missing close to 20 vertical lines, and the sound was turned completely off. Kinda killed it for me. Good thing the $1.50 PBRs made the experience sting a bit less.

So that's what I uncovered in good ol' Cols. I'm sure there are more pins lurking, but mom's cyborg-leg took priority on this trip. I'll be back, and I'm coming after you, Future Spa, wherever you are.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Welcome to the Pindiana pinball blog...

...all about corn shuckin', beer swillin' & all things pinball in and around the Hoosier state.  While posts are brewing, let the legendary Rick Stetta entertain you.