I know it’s been a while since I posted. I even have a little backlog of material. I just haven’t had a lot of time for blogging lately because I … well… I…

It’s time to confess what I’ve been doing.

In the past year or so, I have developed a new hobby that I have gotten a little obsessed with. I think the wife would say that I am a step or two or three past the obsession stage actually, and she says she regrets being the one that started me down this road.

Speaking of road, I even drove (well, rode in my friend/enabler’s truck) all the way to Oxnard to feed the obsession. That’s a 4 hour round trip, not counting the In-n-Out stop. That’s more driving than I do in a year unless I go to Vegas or something.

(Aside: Those of you who live anywhere but California, Texas, or Vegas and really like burgers, need to make a pilgrimage.)


It was this trip to Oxnard that has kept me busy for the past week or so.

My wife is also a seventh grader with a badge, and so for the past week I have been hearing her say in a very loud voice…

“Are you playing with your Ding Dong again?”

I am a pinhead, as we who are obsessed with pinball are called. I have six machines now, and this one from 1968 was just too appropriate to pass up. Check out the teacher up in the window of the schoolhouse, looking on a bit sternly. Notice the mix of sexes but not races–lots of freckles. There’s even a puppy. The school bus looks more like a Greyhound, and the mom delivering her own kid looks straight out of Mad Men. At first I thought the kid plugging his ears was pulling a prank, but I think it’s from the bell ringing. Plus it is a really fun machine with lots of clattering and two big old-school bells. Get it? Ding dong. There was an alternative version of this game called Smarty, which was exactly the same, except you got extra balls (haha) instead of free games. I’d have gone to Oxnard for a Smarty too.

So now my DD is all cleaned up and playing nicely–the boy: “Dad won’t stop playing with his Ding Dong”–and I can get back to blogging. In fact, I’ll have my revenge on the boy, because the next post features him.