Last Saturday night my son and I were having dinner at the Cracker Barrel in Sturbridge and had some time to kill before our order came up.  Rather than play one of the peg games they had for sale I came up with a new game, the “Cracker Barrel Trigger a Woke liberal College Student”

You see Cracker Barrel is a restaurant filled with Americana.  The decor has been unaffected by the current  explosion of being “wokeness” and every item on the wall was invented before the term “microagression” existed.

The game can be played with two but can be played with larger parties, the rules are very simple.

Starting with the first player you point out an item of decor that would trigger a liberal, a flag, a gun a photo, an old ad and play continues to the right until a person can not name one.  If a choice isn’t obvious then that person, in the voice of a triggered woke liberal, has to explain why they would be triggered.

In a game with more than two players, the player who can’t name the item is out and play continues until there is a single player left who share of the tip is covered by the rest.

If you’re going to have to deal with woke liberals why not have fun with it?

With Pintastic NE 2018 over I wanted to get some stray videos from the Q & A seminars posted that you might have missed unless you viewed the entire playlist

First from Jersey Jack’s:

Availability of parts for “Retired” games

Given the playload of home based games that’s a question that will be an issue in a few years.

A question on remote pinball

While you can compare scores I imagine it would require additional camera work to transmit our opponent games as a live stream onto your system and would of course require your system to be connected to the net.

One on various pinball game ideas that are out there

The creative process for deciding what games to make

Unlicenced games (that is games that don’t require paying the owner of a product (like Dialed in) vs ones that do (The Hobbit)

and Nostalgia games

I’d like to see a Travels of St. Paul game, I think the letters of Paul combined with his travels in acts is built for pinball and would have a ready made audience.

Code updates

And you can’t talk code updates without talking auto updates too

Many people outside the hobby don’t realize that there are roms and chips involved in pinball. They still think of the machines as purely mechanical without coding involved.

Can new game prices come down?

I don’t think you can have a cheap game drive the hobby but it has to be inexpensive enough to sell which leads to the next question concerning games too expensive to make

That’s an important point, while you can’t go too cheap if you are paying as much for a pinball machines as a new car then it becomes a hobby only for the very rich and thus not feasible for mass production.

The was a great question about low scoring threshholds

And let’s finish Jack’s section with why he made it as a manufacturer of Pinball Machines while others have not.

While Jersey Jack is a maker of new Pinball machines Todd Tuckey is a fixer of old ones, Jack ribbed him during his seminar

But Todd’s seminar was all about the restoring and repairing of an old machine, many of them 30 years old or older, so the questions that came were about the hardware side

Removing particular parts..

The lamp board

they types of iron used to heat pins

Those pins being the pins of the circuit boards that all games except the pure mechanical ones have.

He also told a story about what a lightning strike can do to games even when they’re off

His own livestream that he shot at Pintastic is below

I asked each of them a question at their seminars, I asked Todd about the cost of the repair that he showed us on camera

And I asked Jack about the making of PG games

Todd is more of a showman and Jack but the bottom line is both are builders and doers and the hobby and the country are both better for having them.

I’ve always known how to count

Tip O’Neil

For the last week we have heard the breathless declarations the Donald Trump will not be able to get a judge who opposes Roe v Wade because Lisa Murkowski of Alaska or Susan Collins of Maine will vote against any such nominee.

Millions of pixels have been dedicated to this proposition as the media breathlessly declare that any such judge will have a hard if not impossible path to the Supreme Court.

While I hate to disappoint all of you folks on the left but Doug Matacoins not withstanding  it is Collins and Murkowski who are in the box, not Trump.

Even when the President didn’t have a supreme court nominee coming up or democrats calling for the public harassment of conservatives or Democrat Socialists publicly proclaiming communism, which murdered 100+ million in the 20th century, as a good thing the numbers looked bad for the Democrats in the senate due to the sheer number of Democrats running for re-election, particularly from Red States.

In a bad scenario it was likely the GOP would pick up at only one seat, with a strong economy, low unemployment and success against ISIS and Democrats making fools of themselves a pick up of 3 seats is a real possibility.

The media and twitter may not be talking about this but you had better believe that Collins and Murkowski both know how to count real and understand the moment the GOP has a majority that doesn’t depend on their vote to get a justice confirmed they will have as much say in who Trump nominates as Chuck Schumer, namely none.

So I suspect that they will make loud noises and say all the right things to the media who will be putting immense pressure on them but in the end when the votes are counted Trump will get both his nominee and unless they can manage a Fishbait Miller scenario will likely have their vote as well.

If Trump chooses Judge Amy Coney Barrett, (which is who I think he will) Watch them claim as a driving force for their vote for her the chance to create, for the first time in the court’s history actual parity between the number of men and women on it.

You heard it here first

One of the reasons why I enjoy conducting interviews is the amount I learn but occasionally such knowledge comes at the price of some startling revelations. I had such a moment in the latest interview in my “Interviews with Immigrants” series.

A week ago Tuesday I spoke to Maria, a woman in her late 40 to early 50’s (you didn’t REALLY expect me to ask her age did you?) she something that delighted me, then shocked me, then really brought the Sarah Sanders/Maxine Waters business into focus.

I asked her when she decided to move to the US, she answered talking about visiting her sister in Leominster Ma back in 2003. She was sitting by a pond/lake seeing some young boys and men around and suddenly realized that she felt completely safe, even around these strangers. She had no worries about being robbed, attacked, shot or worse and decided. “This is where I want to live.”

There was joy in her face when she said it which I took a great pleasure and pride it.  This is exactly what the 4th of July is all about…

…but then a bell rang in my head concerning something I had noticed at work for a while.  The Spanish-speaking women when coming from or going to break routinely interlocked their arms with the woman walking next to them. I always thought it looked rather odd, but when Maria brought up her feelings of safety it suddenly clicked that it might be a habit developed for safety from the days before they came here.

I asked both Maria and Christian, our 20-year-old translator about it and they confirmed this was routinely done by woman as a necessary safety measure both in her home country of the Dominican Republic and in Puerto Rico where he was from.

To me the implication of this was horrifying. but it was consistent with three interviews I conducted with people from Iraq, El Salvador and now the Dominican Republic.  In each case women and men commented on the idea of feeling safe here in America compared to their home countries.

This safety in everyday life was a precious thing to them and a powerful draw of America, but I and millions like me took it as the normal state of events, something to be taken for granted.

And that’s when the full horror of the Sanders/Waters business hit me.

We have people on the left, for the sake of winning a few political points and virtue signaling,  putting this safety at risk by trying to expel those they disagree with politically from places of public accommodation and encouraging others to threaten and harass such people both in public and at their homes.

These are tactics that invite a response. I guarantee you well armed Trump voters aren’t going to let themselves or their families get threatened, hurt or killed so Democrats can feel better about themselves or score points with their base. Nor is it likely once Democrats regain power (as they eventually will) that said well armed Trump votes will give those who demanded their harassment a pass in public spaces.  Once this happens it will go from being a fringe to becoming the norm and the ability to go to a shop, eat at a restaurant or even sit at home is safety as a matter of course will become a memory.

This is what fools are throwing away for the sake of anti-Trump obsession and once that safety that you’ve been taking for granted for your entire life, the safety that brought Maria, Alvin and Hanna such joy is gone, it will be hard to get it back.

We still have time to stop this before it happens but I fear they will not realize what they’ve lost till it’s long gone.


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There are a lot of conservatives simply delighted with the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the NY 14.

Some because it unseated a longtime and very powerfull Democrat leader.

Hold on to your hats, Democrats. The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus lost his primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District. And to add insult to injury, he lost to an avowed socialist running her first serious political campaign who managed to raise only 10% as much money as Crowley had to spread around.

Some because she is, as the good folks at Victory Girls put it a “Raging Dumpster Fire

Yep, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a dumpster fire. But she’ll win in November, no doubt. The borough in Queens she hopes to represent is deep blue, so there’s little chance of a GOP victory. And it looks like New York’s 14th District just elected themselves a joke.

She’ll be a hoot when she gets to DC. We’ll just sit back and enjoy the show.

And yes, to whatever extent she’s hurting Democrat chances in the House and senate, I’m pleased as well.

But there is a more basic reason to be pleased,at Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, the fact that she accurately represent the Democrat party as it is and thus presents a clear choice to the voters of her district.

They can choose to support an open socialist who wants open boarders, government provided jobs for all, Medicare for all, free college for all, or someone who lives in the real world and understands what the consequences of that kind of nonsense would be.

Now given the makeup of that district their choice is almost going to be the former and that’s OK because voters should get the representation they want and if they want that kind of lunacy they should get it.

Just as important if elected, and it’s likely she will be, she will reflect the authentic voice of the Democrat Party.as it is.

Right now Democrats generally get elected by pretending they are something they are not, basically deceiving voters that they are centrists making claims to support the police, the law, the troops and not having animus to people of faith or the 1st and 2nd amendment rights of their fellow Americans.

You also get the occasional Maxine Waters a powerful longstanding dem pol who is the Yasser Arafat of American Political who tends to say one thing to excite the base and bring in the cash but starts to back off or spin it away once her rants begin to be considered representative of the positions of the Democrat party.

That’s generally not how Bernie bros like Ocasio-Cortez operate, they are open about their beliefs and are not shy about publicly advancing them. This means that instead of American voters being deceived they would have an honest debate over the choice between socialism and Capitalism and be able to choose one or the other rather than being deceived about the intentions of those they vote for.

If the Democrats want socialized medicine, abortion up to the 9th month, confiscation of guns, a weak military and people taxed to death so the government can provide for woman’s studies majors let them run 435 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezs and if the American people choose them, so be it.

However they are not honest enough to do such a thing because if the Democrat party and their media and cultural organs portrayed themselves as they are, they might never win an election outside of the deepest blue states again.

In closing let me send this message to Maxine Waters who is now claiming that she’s a target for assassination for her views.

If I can’t get Democrats to run 435 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezs I’d love them to run 435 Maxine Waters:


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A common sight at Pintastic NE 2018
There was more to Pintastic than Todd Tuckey and Jersey Jack there were the vendors like Ben from Pinbox 3000

c

his system has really grown since the first one

Steve from Rock Fantasy store/arcade in NY who has been to every pintastic but one

Clever to bring a machine that needs slight tweaking to a show full of tweakers

You have virtual Pinball well represented among the vendors, I spoke to Cliff of the VR zone

His virtual reality cabinet was so big it took two videos to show it

It’s a good solution for fans with limited space.

Of course there were the individuals like Chris

He brought his daughters which is no surprise as every year more and more kids are there with parents, which is why we saw old friend Maggie the Clown entertaining them, but in a cunning disguise sans makeup

Most of the kids however were to be found at the games on tiny step provided by Pintastic for them to reach the tables.

I wasn’t the only person filing in fact the good folks at Xtreme has a three person team which did live streaming of games with an excellent setup to do so.

this makes sense because even on the last day of Pintastic the stars of the show are the games

And the people who meet while playing them.

I was playing a four player game with the young couple to my right and my son, Pintastic is a great place to connect with people. It’s a place where people in Deplorable shirts share a parking lot with folks with Bernie bumper stickers because it’s all about the Pinball and the camaraderie of the joy of the games that all share.

We’ve got two more pintastic posts coming a compilations of Q & A and a wrap up post but those will not be leads so starting tomorrow expect a return to news and commentary in the lead posts here at DaTechGuy blog again


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Todd Tuckey Pintastic NE 2018

Yesterday we highlighted Jersey Jack as one of the People who are driving the Pinball Hobby by his creation of brand new games designed more toward public purchase rather than arcades.

Today I’d like to Focus on Todd Tuckey whose forte is the repair and restoration of the older games that were designed for a different era when the primary goal was for an arcade/bowling alley etc to fill the coin box. Todd Talked about this during his seminar yesterday.

His seminar was all about restoring an old Six Million Dollar Man Game and the procedure to fix it. There is a whole section of the Pinball hobby for restoring pinball machines (the term used is “shopping a machine” which involves a knowledge of electronics, soldering etc. He took a few questions on that as well.

This highlights one of the real difference between those who have been in the hobby for some time and those newly entering via barcades and events like this. The old guard tends to have a fair popular who knows about circuit boards, capacitors, heat syncs etc but many of the new folks are just interested in a game that runs. I asked Todd about that in the Q & A.

Now in the old days there were a fair amount of young men who would learn about electronics in “shop” classes and decide to go in that direction, but with society convincing people that unless they put themselves in debt a few hundred thousand dollars for a degree (even if such a degree is LBGT dance studies) they are somehow inferior, you are seeing less people of either sex learning these kind of skills.

On the plus side because games at home are not continually on have perhaps 8-10 hours a day of play 300+ days a year (and are likely subject to less abuse as you are less likely to mistreat a machine you own) both a new Jersey Jack machine that you are paying 6-10K for an old game after a Tuckey restoration that might cost $2500 your game is likely to last you decades.

I did a very long interview with Todd in three parts as my cameras alternatively kept running out of battery or shut themselves off for no apparently reason it is in three parts

Part 2

and Part 3

Todd’s business TNT Amusements is here
Todd’s own Youtube channel has made him a legend in the industry, you can see is here and includes this classic moment from last year of me getting in trouble with DA wife until she realizes she’s being recorded

His videos are a plethora of knowledge about electronics and repairing machines, in other words actual practical skills worth knowing.

I submit and suggest that with the growth of the hobby it might be worthwhile to ditch the prehistoric microaggression studies degree that you’re working on and instead pick up this electronics knowledge which pays real money. Even better if haven’t built up more debt than the cost of the entire Jersey Jack Pinball line because your still in High school see if you can begin to pick up the knowledge there that can provide a career and a hobby for a lifetime.

At Yesterday’s Pintastic NE Jersey Jack of Jersey Jack Pinball held a seminar about his business that produces some of the best pinball machines on the market. These games are constantly in demand both on the market and at the show:

During the seminar one of the attendees asked him an obvious question, why has he made it when others have failed? Here was his answer.

This is not a light thing to say because it must be remembered he started this business in the Obama years before the Trump boom AND because when it comes down to it a Pinball machine is not a necessity.

I think thanking God and a bunch of others is important as was his decision to market to individuals, but for my money the real secret is the fact that in terms of subject matter, video, artwork and display, all of his games are PG rated or lower. I asked him why he made that decision and his answer was telling

Note that he didn’t say: “I don’t think anyone should make an R rated game”, he just decided that as a Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, and a Catholic Eucharistic Minister involved in his church, he decided that he wasn’t going to making anything that wasn’t family friendly.

In an era when kindergartens are having very inappropriate stuff pushed at them and Disney has apparently decided that being “woke” is more important that being family friendly that’s an incredibly radical decision.

My interview with Jack is here

And you can buy his games here