I bought some slides in an antique store. Fifty cents a shot. Doing my best to restore them, but since my slide scanner died it’s been tough. This one was almost entirely red, but when adjusted its location is quite clear.

This one, though: it’s a puzzle.

All the shots are from a Minnesota vacation. Wonder where that one was taken. I have a column on highway billboards coming up on Friday, and while you may not regret the loss of some big loud ugly billboards, there was a time when they were quite nice - and unique.

Related: faded roadside relics at roadsandkingdoms.com.

TILT This is filed under GENDER at BoingBoing: a women’s pinball tournament.

The tournament is titled "Welcome to Xenon," after the 1980 pinball game Xenon—one of the few machines designed around a female character, albeit a robot one. It's women's history month, and Schneider printed up a series of posters about women who participated in pinball through its history: as mechanical and software engineers, artists, voice actors and composers, even assembly line workers. Admittedly, there aren't many.

Let’s not forget Bride of Pinbot, who was also a robot.

It’s odd to think how many pinball games didn’t have main female characters, given the demographic of the players - although one of the most popular machines of the late 70s was Mata Hari, a simple table that rewarded both novice and expert. Anyway: the article asks “What happens when female players slam tilt their way into the bright, loud world of pinball?” and I imagine the answer is “they have fun and someone wins.”

The difference between the two, says Lopez, is palpable. "It's all about the points with a lot of the guys. It's a lot more competitive, and sometimes if I win they're not really cool with it. Women can get competitive too, but overall the vibe is really different.”

The article notes that some players feel the competition is really between player and machine, not player vs. player, although interpersonal competition blends into it. So it’s exactly as it was when I played pinball with The Guys down in the Valli pub in the 80s. Of course we all wanted the high score. But it was more about what you could do when you played, not whether you had bested the guy who just drained. There was also the camaraderie of playing with your friends, which I imagine could have formed a barrier to outsiders. When three guys were playing on a machine and had the glass lined up with quarters, a stranger just didn’t come up and add two bits to the queue. You just didn’t.