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Maybe 4-5 days ago I had a chuck dream, it didn't make sense of course.  He pulled into my garage, and was talking something about how the car I sold didn't belong to me, that his name was on the title too.  I wasn't sure what car he was even talking about?  Just before he left, and I said "wait, I don't know why you think I'm trying to screw you, but I'm not".

Also this week Stern released photos and video of the new Metallica pinball machine

This is not just signifigant because it's probably the best ones they've ever made (and sold out within an hour of press release), Metallica has always been a huge part of Chuck's life.  I remember before they were even well known.  They were on the local rock station, and my brother recorded them.  I remember him playing that tape back all the time because the band at the time were pretty down to earth and funny.  His passion for metallica was pretty deep, he'd owned probably 6-8 tshirts, all the CD's, he even bought 2-3 vinyl records with art printed on the whole record, and even a gold one.  I remember sometime around 2001 me and my wife were staying overnight at my mom's house in lakemoore, and at like 5am all of the sudden metallica starts playing out of the blue over the intercom (battery).  I was a little freaked out about this initially because this was so out of the blue (and why would my mom be listening to metallica at 5am)?  I actually had thoughts that maybe my brother was out partying and died, and this was his way of saying goodbye.  Turns out, someone left an alarm activated on the built-in radio system, and it was left on CD player (which happened to have a metallica CD in it).  Who knew he would actually pass on a year later.

So I went to the pinball expo a weekend ago.  Now that I'm getting serious in the hobby, I'm starting to go to shows.  Went to MGC early this spring, and I went on Friday night to Chicago expo.  It just happened to be the night that Mark Ritchie was at one of the Seminars.  I don't usually attend them, but a friend of mine wanted to check out what Stern was doing.  The last seminar was just finishing up, and I saw him up there.  I decided to go ahead and walk up there to see if he'd recognize me.  He was talking to someone else, and when he finished up he looked at me for a second, and I held out my hand and said "how's it going".  He said "wow, it took me a second to realize who you were".  He wondered how I was doing, and if I was really getting into the hobby.  I told him what I had in my collection, and he teased me that I didn't have any of the ones he worked on.  I told him it wasn't because I didn't like his titles, it's just getting harder to actually find the titles you want.  He knew what I was talking about, he can't believe how much pinball has exploded over the past 2 years.  He introduced me to his wife, who was very nice.  He asked me if I saw Brad, I said no his wife is too protective.  He couldn't believe it's been 7 years since he'd left IT.  Seems like they both miss Chuck, or maybe they just miss the old days.


So one thing we both grew up with is pinball.  Chuck somehow convinced my dad to buy one from a Coin-op reseller in Chicago.  He would have been something like 11-12 years old? We ended up buying an evel knievel (solid state, not EM).  I remember how cool it was to own an arcade anything back then, and I remember how clean it was.  You compare that to today, some of the heavily routed pinballs simply because operators are lazy, and just want to make their money, and sell off the machine.

Anyway, a little over a year ago I finally purchased my first pin.  You can read my progress on my blog:

Like Chuck would say, "I need this shit!"  I hunted around probably for 4-6 months, trying to spend as little as possible.  Finally I found a local garage sale by work that was trying to sell a non-working 1968 bally for $200.  I talked him down to $150, which I thought was fair considering I had no idea what I was in for.  After replacing some fuses, and cleaning some contacts, I finally managed to get it working to the point where it would play a game.  I ended up selling it, and meanwhile (as you can see by the video above), my collection continues to grow.  It's certainly an addicting hobby.  I've learned to fix my own machines, and if chuck were still around I'd think he be a little proud (and hopefully wanting to play a few games).


Chuck was always into weird alternate versions of songs he liked.  I remember when mp3 first became popular, he loved the version of NIN - closer where it's some redneck singing about fucking actual animals.  Here's an odd Jazz version of a Metallica song (enter sandman)


I guess what initially made me want to update this site is this video:

It's a guy named POGO.  He's done a bunch of really cool movie remixes (the pee-wee's big adventure one is great).  I've been listening to this song at work, a lot.  Brings back memories of Chuck loving quentin tarrintino.  The three movies at the time was Dusk till dawn, Resevoir Dogs, and Pulp fiction.  I believe the last gift I got him was a framed Resevoir Dogs poster.  Also these three movies were at a "quentin tarrintino festival" at the brew-n-view.  There's nothing quite like watching your favorite movies with a bunch of drunks yelling comments at the screen.