Very cool that my custom “10th Avenue Freeze Out” machine has been picked up by numerous Springsteen sites, including backstreets.com, an official online Springsteen fan magazine.
Lots of fans from Italy and the U.K. as well seem to be drooling over the design. It is still my favorite of my creations, mostly because of the cool turntable/roulette wheel feature and sound clip sound track.
The play field artwork took months to get right- I wanted to tell the story of the song from the top on down to the bottom- with the top highlighting the NYC skyline in the rain (teardrops in the city)- the middle showing a street scene of gathering youth, a tenement building, a radio playing- and the lower section highlighting piano keys, music, the 45 record, and silhouettes of the “little pretties” raising their hands.
As a fan creating this work for my own pleasure, it became an homage to the Boss and the Band circa 1975. Up until recently, I hadn’t really shared the images of the work to sites where other fans might enjoy it. Previously, it was displayed at a local RI Maker Faire and on a few pinball sites, but the response was nothing like it has been recently ever since “Backstreets” made my playfield their Facebook wallpaper.
So thanks to the best fans in the world- fans of Bruce- for getting me some exposure. It makes the 6 months of work it took to build it worthwhile!
So many of you have made statements like “I want one!”, “Where can I get one?”, “Is this real?”, “Is it for sale?”, etc. This is all very flattering. So there is good news and bad news related to these questions- first, the bad news- this unit is my prototype, and it is not for sale.
However- the very good news is that I have a very similar donor machine (with the same roulette wheel feature) that I can customize for someone using the same artwork (slightly altered to fit this machine). The price can run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to much more than that depending on how much additional customization you may want… If you are serious about wanting one, we can make that happen- and it will be a lot less expensive than any other custom machines since I’d be reusing artwork I already have!
So write to me at:
I also have an active Facebook account for Pinventions as well- currently under my name (David Gaskill). If you want to keep up with my Pinventions work, send a friend request and like the site. Or call me at 401-212-7500.
So to my new Springsteen fan friends- thanks for the supportive, encouraging comments! and feel free to write, comment or call. I will reply in person to anyone taking the time to contact me.
After a long day at Rhode Island Mini- Maker Faire yesterday, I woke up very early today with sore muscles and that odd feeling of being so tired that I couldn’t even sleep. I had essentially transformed into a zombie myself.
I did some research into the tell-tale signs of zombification, and I found that one of the first signs is a tendency to make up nonsense words like “zombification”. So I can check that one off the list.
A second sign seems to be slow, dragging movement, accompanied by a moaning sound. Those symptoms started to show last light as I hauled my monstrous, zombie-themed machine back to my FJ Cruiser for the return trip home from Providence. This is an obvious, classic symptom (duh). Check.
Another symptom is a recurring thought of Jeff Foxworthy voicing a narrative of this article where he repeatedly says “You might be a zombie if….”
At least I’m not a redneck zombie- because that would be embarrassing. But yes, check- according to my running list of nonsensical symptoms, I am indeed showing strong signs of being zombificationalized.
And finally, since I’ve clearly lost my mind, I guess I am in a way searching for brains, and I hear they taste like chicken.
Now that I’ve made such a convincing case that I am, indeed, a zombie, I’m considering my options for parlaying this into something more.
But first I think that I’ll sit around all day and watch football.
Eve was perfectly proportioned. No, this isn’t the start of some weird biblical fan fiction.
Eve was our little Sheltie, and she truly was a perfectly proportioned miniature collie-like dog. She was small but proud, and in many ways the queen of our household. Eve passed away this past week of congestive heart failure.
As a guy who in the past had favored larger, “manlier” dogs (whatever that means), I was a bit indifferent at first when we got Eve over 12 years ago. She was on the small side-even for a small breed- and quite honestly was a sickly, sad, weak little thing when we picked her up that day. Her hair was matted and patchy, and she had eyes that seemed both happy and sad at the same time.
As we got her home, and over time got her healthier, she grew in confidence and self-importance, if not in size. For example, it was interesting to see her herding instincts, even as a very young pup- she would frantically circle the yard, trying to keep Amanda and Jonathan inside her imaginary paddock. She was very fast, with tremendous bursts of speed, but since she wasn’t very strong, as she rushed to run in progressively tighter circles around the kids, she would stumble and flip over as her own body weight and momentum sent her flying off of her feet, tumbling across the yard.
Afterwards, she would scramble back to her unfinished duties, and go right back to herding the family again, oblivious to our chuckles. This was all serious business to her, and it was very important. Eve had many great years with our family- as part of the family- traveling with us, going to every outdoor activity we could take her to. We have secretly slipped her into hotel rooms, watched fireworks displays, and taken her on numerous beach walks and arts festival strolls. She seemed to enjoy the attention that she always received, and she got an extra spring in her step on such occasions. She was never much trouble, relatively quiet and obedient, and when not “working”, she was certainly a playful companion. However, she was always a runt, even if she didn’t know it.
As the children grew older (but not the parents since that doesn’t happen) we all fell more in love with this little ball of fluff, and whenever we would see a small, weak, tiny, cute, helpless little animal of any kind, we simply would say “Eve!” in unison. Eve’s name would come up in random conversations and in the odd situations. In no particular order, I recall one of us (usually me or Jon, never Linda) blurting out an “Eve!” in the following places:
1. Movie theaters (on multiple occasions)
3. Shopping Malls
5. Bike Rides
7. Road Trips
8. While watching television (often)
Just to establish that there were limits to this silliness, I don’t recall ever shouting “Eve!” at a funeral or a wedding.
While small in stature, and serious in her herding “business”, Eve was also very loving, loyal, and affectionate. She loved to sit on our laps, nap next to any of us, anywhere, and we never even considered putting a fence around our yard since she was always so anxious to come in from outside to be with her family (and our food). One of our favorite Eve tricks was to see how high she would leap into the air to grab a treat. Her excitement and energy on these occasions were off the charts- we called her the “Leaping Loon”- her vertical leap was truly impressive.
As Amanda and Jonathan went off to college, Eve remained the constant in our household. Conversations were held with Eve as the stand-in for any other member of the family. But over time, the rate at which her claws clicked on hardwood floors was noticeably slower. Her leaps were less frequent and not all that impressive anymore. The past few years Eve had slowed considerably. Her hearing was very bad, her eyes clouded her vision, and her energy level had dropped. Over time, it was difficult to watch as she took on symptoms and conditions in an accelerated version of what we humans are all likely to experience in our later years.
Last week was tough.
I’ve been guilty of saying (or thinking) that “It’s just an animal” when I hear about other people mourning the loss of a family pet. But on that night when her little heart started to fail, and she couldn’t catch her breath, and those sad, loving eyes looked up wondering what was so wrong- I understood.
Her weakness was evidently contagious.
Perhaps a little dog’s brief time on earth can help us in other ways. She was totally dependent, but so independent. Her affections were pure. She trusted without question. She wore her feelings on her little paw-tipped sleeves, as she expressed so much without ever speaking. Her eyes were happy and sad at the same time.
…and so are mine. Eve.
I was happy to just be accepted as an exhibitor to this amazing event, and I had no expectations of winning any awards. Heck- I didn’t even know they gave awards!
But to be recognized in 2 different categories by the editors and organizers of this amazing organization is very satisfying- not sure if a few $1 ribbon makes up for hundreds of hours of work, frustration, testing, problem solving and troubleshooting, but it was great to climb out of the darkness and into the bright lights of this show. If nothing else it provides notice that “You done good, and we like what you did.”
I’d like to thank Brian Jepson and Nick Normal- both associated with Make in one way or another, but each very supportive of my unique, quirky hobby-business of pinball reinvention.
Nick was the Editor who gave me my award in New York, and I joke that perhaps it is because he happened to get the highest game score of anyone all weekend.
Brian is the Rhode Island guy that I met last year at the Providence mini-Maker Faire, and he has also been very helpful in providing me networking opportunities and media connections.
So on to the next chapter of this story- just yesterday I met my new group of seniors from Roger Williams University’s Engineering School. Pinventions and I are sponsoring another Senior Design Project, and I’ve
outlined a challenge for the team- to create a “drop-in” programmable control unit that I can use to tie into any old pinball machine to provide new high tech light, sound, and motion effects.
If this pans out, I should be able to drastically shorten my machine build times. Wish us luck!
Until next time…
Short and sweet- there were 7 or 8 of you at the New York Maker Faire that were seriously considering a custom machine.
Here’s the incentive to make it a reality:
1. Look at my available donor machines.
2. Pick one of those that you like.
3. See those quoted prices? Take 50% off.
4. Contact me with your choice at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Let’s design a custom machine together.
Talk to you soon!
I see quite a bit of activity on my website the past few days- including a few people looking at the available donor machines. If any of you are serious let me know ASAP, and I’ll offer any of the available machines at 50% off of the prices that are listed- as you can imagine, there is a bit of a waiting list to build custom machines, so first come, first served!
And it was great talking to you all!
Email me directly at: