bindlenix and I were late starting out from Oakland, something to do with principles of thermodynamics and cooking lunch. We picked up khym chanur in the rolling hills of Albany, and set out for the South Bay on the 580. The San Mateo Bridge was fairly clear and for a moment, if I looked off into the Bay, it might have felt as if I were sailing. Enough with the traffic report already.

The bowling alley was not much to look at from the outside. A Thai restaurant occupies the street side of the building. The parking lot was empty on this Sunday afternoon. bindlenix, khym chanur and I go inside, to find a fairly drab bowling alley, with a scant few videogame consoles, a closed snack bar, a wet bar that opens in an hour, but promises a $2 scotch and soda, and, oh, hello, NODERS! m_turner and rischi, in the flesh. Still, I had misgivings about factgirl’s “crack team of spies” who were to “see which bowling alley meets our elite noder standards”. And she wasn’t yet here. steev, Lost and Found, misuba, cipher, and conform soon arrived. I have read the tales of violence from previous noder meets, and it was beginning to look like this was an elaborate ruse to get several Bay Area noders in one place – and remove them! I investigated the exits to the building, scanning for ninjas, or I don’t know what. It seems that factgirl was fashionably late. She arrived, with the E2 West Coast Bowling Trophy in tow, and took charge. We got our shoes, we got our balls, we got lane assignments according to skilz. And then, to my surprise, the lights dimmed, colored lights began to rotate and flash, the bowling balls glowed under black light, and the hiss of a fog machine cut through the strange mix of piped music.

After two frames, and Akasha showing up, we stood outside the bowling alley and tried to make plans regarding food. It took much discussion, getting noders to agree on anything is like herding cats. Anyway, we pile into cars and head for downtown Palo Alto, where there is a street fair that obstinately gets in the way. Thirteen is an unlucky number, and with the street fair in the way, it was inevitable that one noder would go missing. Eventually we get a table at a chain brewpub, where misuba, m_turner, and I (anti-socially) play a quick game of Icehouse. From thence to akasha’s car for cheesecake (served from the trunk) and photos.

Noder trivia:

The E2 West Coast Bowling Trophy
The E2 West Coast Bowling Trophy is currently in the possession of Lost and Found, who rightfully won it at the The NoCal Super Layoff Unemployment Collecting BBQ Moonlit Bowling Noder Meet on Sunday August 26, 2001. At the awards ceremony, he bashfully claimed not to have bowled for ten years. Investigation into the effects of proscribed substances on his bowling score is pending. Until such information can be obtained to discredit his victory, he should be forced to defend the title from all challengers!

The trophy itself is decorated with statuettes of lesbians, monkeys, and soy-man, and stands approximately 30 inches high. It was crafted from cardboard, gift wrap, aluminum foil, toilet paper tubes and action figures by factgirl. It would look very elegant on your mantlepiece.