Nadine received PitchCar from her Secret Santa. Tal and I went to her house on the first night of Hanukkah to play it with her, her son Yona, and Yona's girlfriend. Tal and I had played PitchCar before, at Jack Reiver's house in York when we visited England.
Yona proved to be quite good at the game. Nadine could only play with a glove on, after hurting her fingernail the first time she tried to flick her car.
Surprisingly, it's possible to catch up if you're behind, if the leader makes a mistake and you make a good shot. But this is definitely a game where practice makes for better play. It's fun, like kinetic games are wont to be, but I still prefer Crokinole or billiards.
Tal took Saarya and me bowling for Hanukkah.
Bowling is pretty close to a table stop sport, even though it's played on the floor. In any case, it's not a sport like Soccer or Track and Field. I actually took two college classes in Bowling (as I was not suited for most sports), and I used to bowl every week or two as a child. Back then, I lived pretty close to a bowling alley and games were only $1, which made it the equivalent cost of a couple of video games.
It takes me a number of practice rolls to regain some of my bowling skills. In this case, nearly half the game. But the era of practice rolls is long over.
The only thing electronic when I was growing up was the pin resetter. You kept score on paper. Today, the alley operator opens the lane for you with the specified number of players keyed in and an electronic screen overhead indicates whose turn it is and what the score is. And the lane shuts automatically when the game is over. No practice rolls allowed.
The screen has multiple animations for every type of roll. If you miss a lot of pins, for instance, an animation might show you a bowling pin from The Matrix, dodging your bowling balls as they shoot at him on the rooftop. Very cute; but can't I go anywhere without a television screen? Worse, mind-numbing trance music is playing at high volume the entire time.
The concession guy came over to me as we were just starting and tried to make me throw out my bottle of water that I had brought from home. Outside food and drink isn't permitted, see, because they run a concession stand that sells food and drinks. I argued that it's just water, and he argued that I still have to leave it outside.
So I asked to have three cups of tap water brought to us. He said that he can't bring me tap water; if I want to drink something, I have to buy something. So I asked to speak to a manager, turned around, and ignored him. I watched him go find the manager who told him not to bother me about it. Sheeyash.