Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stupid Reporting

I heard this mentioned on "Marketplace Morning Report" this morning, and now I see it on the WaPo site, by way of Reuters.  "Halo 3 sales exceed $170 million on first day, 'more than any movie debut'."
Ummmm, yeah, even in the big cities I don't think movie tickets have quite reached $60 each.
Apples and oranges much?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Working for the Weekend

Further to yesterday's post:
I did hear back from SLDN; in fact, I had two follow-ups. First, I received an email response to my query. Unfortunately, it informed me that their had been a glitch in the system, and the arrangements had fallen through on their end, so no Pride Cap'n duty for me. Of course, this was not what I wanted to hear, but I will get over it. When I got home yesterday evening, I also found a phone message from Jason Knight, who is now working for SLDN in the communications office, and had seen my post. I called him back today and thanked him for taking notice, and to assure him that I would continue to support SLDN and hoped to find future volunteer opportunities. I sort of feel like I got to speak to a celebrity!

So, my takeaway here it to go ahead and sign up again next year, and be a lot more tenacious in keeping the lines of communication open. And if I can address one suggestion to SLDN, it would be - please continue with more programs at the grassroots level. I can't afford $200 a plate dinners and silent auctions and the like, but I do want to do more than just write an occasional check.

Of course, I continue to be disappointed with the local Pride organization, which once again has not acknowledged my email. I hope to talk to somebody on Saturday and find out why.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Before A Fall

I'm not good at volunteering. I should do more, because I am fairly lucky to have a decent situation in life, and I think it's therefore incumbent on me to help out. With this basic premise in mind, I thought that I would take a step forward and volunteer to be a "Pride Captain" for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization that I've supported financially, and whose mission I agree with.

I contacted SLDN back in July to set this up. I didn't hear back immediately (in fact it took a couple weeks), but then it seemed like things were all set up. They would take care of things with the local Pride organization, and "send [me] information on the booth as [they] receive it from the event organizers." Sadly, I've heard nothing at all from anybody, and it's four days before the festival. I am also supposed to be expecting a shipment of materials "in the week before the event"; I suppose could still happen.

BUT .... yesterday I emailed the person at SLDN who had first contacted me and asked "what's up?" Very early this morning I used the "contact us" link on the GPV site to ask "what's up?" At this time, I can count the responses on no hands at all.

I should note that I had also used that GPV site link several months ago to send in a suggestion that they invite singer-songwriter Aiden James to perform, and got no response at all. For various additional reasons not documented here, it is very hard for me not to view this as yet another symptom of the Richmond closed circle gay society, but I'm trying not to go there.

I suppose that I should have followed up on this before this week, but see above about "not good at volunteering." Why wouldn't I expect people to follow-up on their side? I don't even know what has happened. Did SLDN not actually apply for the booth? Did GPVA turn them down? Am I worrying for no reason?

For now I guess I just sit and wait, my Saturday plans held hostage by the idea of wanting to do something good, and me not quite ready to give up. Maybe in the future I'll volunteer with my friend on the animal adoption thing. At least the puppies and kittens lick your face.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

And soon I'll be hearing old winter's song

Many's the time when I've written posts about pinball. I make no excuses, it's a subject and a pasttime that I really enjoy. It's been on my mind a lot lately, for various reasons. Some of what follows may have been posted previously. Oh well . . .

1 - I think I finally decided on a theme, if not an actual design, for my next tattoo. Surprisingly enough, given this entry, that theme would be pinball. OK, sure, that's a start, but I'm not completely sure where to go from there. At first I was thinking of something incorporating the plunger, the shot gauge and a ball, which might indeed, be an interesting design in the right place. The concept of a pair of flippers as a tramp stamp was quickly discarded. The current thought is to do something with the classic trio of pop bumpers. I'll figure it out soon.

2 - Of course thinking of pinball in general makes me think of the poor old machine that's been sitting in the back room, neglected for way too long. It's the classic Williams game, Gorgar, from 1979, the very first talking pinball machine. Here is the IPDB entry. I played the hell out of the game at an arcade in Stratford, Connecticut when I had my first real job and lived in my first real apartment, post-college. Some years later, when I had my own house and what seemed like a disposable income, I was able to get my very own Gorgar machine. The IPDB entry above mentions that it has a seven word vocabulary, but the important thing is that the words were combined into several different phrases, the best, of course, being "You beat Gorgar." That phrase is usually quickly followed by the knocking sound that indicates a free game has been earned. The other words, for the record, are "me, speaks, hurt, got". But hey, even that isn't really the best part of the game. It has a heartbeat sound that gets faster and faster as you play, and that makes it even more exciting. Here is an MP3 of the promo record that was produced, which I just found on these amazing intrawebs.

3 - Combining parts 1 and 2, I'm thinking that maybe the tattoo design I'm looking for will be not just pinball-related, but Gorgar-related. Just the pop-bumper cap, perhaps?

Gorgar pop bumper cap
Or maybe a picture of the big red demon himself, or the hero dude? Lots of pics at the IPDB entry above. I dunno, on the one hand, the whole fantasy demon and/or warrior thing seems kind of played out for tat designs, but then again, if it's based on a classic pinball game?

4 - Searching earlier today for images to inspire me for the tat led me to several pages showing some very nicely restored pinballs. I have been pretty busy working on projects outside the house all summer, but as the weather begins to turn, I think it is time that I really get serious and get my old machine in working order. For a long time, all I've really had in mind was getting it operational, i.e. power up, lights on, bumpers working, etc., but it deserves more. And it's a pretty freakin' huge project from the looks of things --cleaning, painting, soldering, messing with electronics that I have no bloody right to be messing with. But damn, when I hear my very own machine saying "GORGAR speaks" when I power it up? Yeah, I won't be on the intrawebs, I'll be in the back room playing that silver ball.