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Friday, January 27, 2017

Apollo 1

Edward H. White II - Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom - Roger B. Chaffee
We Remember
50th Anniversary Of Apollo 1 Accident

Monday, January 16, 2017

Last Man On The Moon

Gene Cernan died today. Almost everyone knows that Neil Armstrong was the first man on the Moon but virtually no one knows that Cernan as Commander of Apollo 17 was the last man on the Moon. Shortly before leaving the Moon for the final time Cernan wrote his daughter's initials on the lunar surface and uttered these words: ".....As I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I'd like to just say what I believe history will record: that America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17." Godspeed Gene Cernan. I hope in my lifetime we get to see your daughters initials again.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Asteroids Field

Houston....we are in a field of Asteroids! I brought all my Asteroids machines out of storage and started to restore them. At this point I have rebuilt all the vector monitors and now have four working Asteroids machines! Once the games are restored one of them will be put back into service in Tranquility Base Arcade.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Godspeed, John Glenn

John Glenn passed away today. He was the last of the celebrated Mercury 7 – America’s original astronauts. In 1962 Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Will there ever be another group like this in our lifetime? Heroes all. Godspeed, John Glenn.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Gemini 12

In 1966 two brave astronauts aboard Gemini 12 paved the way for the epic Apollo 11 moon landing. Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin represented the courage and determination of a nation ‘On The Move.’ This was the last Gemini mission as NASA began the Apollo missions the following year. Gemini 12 was also Aldrin's first space flight. I hope one day soon we can once again resume the ‘world’s greatest adventure.’

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Prepare To Qualify!

After an extensive repair job, I have completed the restoration of a Pole Position cockpit. The game is in original condition and plays great! The game required quite a number of repairs including a complete rebuild of all game boards, the power brick, the steering assembly and the pedals. A total restoration of the monitor chassis was also necessary and included a tube swap from a television! New rear plexiglass and an original topper completed the project.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Enemy In Range!

After a lengthy repair job, I have fixed Battlezone and put it in the arcade. The game is in excellent original condition and plays great! The game had sat unused in a warehouse for many years and required quite a number of repairs including a complete rebuild of the power brick as well as a total restoration of the vector monitor chassis. Battlezone is the first game to be put in Tranquility Base Arcade in almost fivers years! Fortunately, due to the game being the cabaret version, room was not a problem.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Tough & Competent

As admired as Neil Armstrong became for his initial walk on the moon there are countless less heralded individuals worthy of the same praise. Gene Kranz is certainly one of those individuals. Gene is well known as the NASA Flight Director for the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission and led the team who ultimately saved the crew. A little less well known is that he was also responsible for being the flight director on all of the 'odd numbered' Apollo missions. Gene directed the Apollo 11 moon landing which puts him in a very special place at Tranquility Base Arcade. As a fellow engineer Gene's dictum known as “The Kranz Dictum” rings true with me on a daily basis - 'Tough & Competent'. It is a great honor to have Gene autograph my personal 'Tough & Competent' document, which will be very proudly displayed in the arcade.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Twin Galaxies Trading Card

Twin Galaxies again honored me with another card. The card is number 2210 in their "Superstars of 2015" video game and pinball trading card set. A great big THANK YOU to Walter Day, Eric Tessler, Richie Knucklez, William McEvoy and anyone else who made this tribute possible!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Battlezone Undergoing Restoration

The Atari Battlezone I acquired a few years ago is finally being restored. I was pleased to discover during the restoration that the cabaret is the less common International version that was made in Tipperary, Ireland. Board repairs, a cap kit for both the monitor and deflection board, rebuilding the power brick, tweaking of the joysticks and a good cleaning are all nearing completion. Nothing is being left to chance. Battlezone is almost ready for the "battle zone” of Tranquility Base Arcade!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kong Off 4 First Place Trophy

I’m heading to Pittsburgh this weekend for the Kong Off 4 which will be held as part of the ReplayFX Arcade & Gaming Festival. In honor of the event, which is being promoted by the creator of the Kong Off Richie Knucklez, I have made a custom arcade stool. The stool is going to be presented to the first place winner of the event on Sunday, August 2nd and that person will be crowned as the "Best In The World" at playing Donkey Kong. I'm looking forward to hanging out with many of my arcade buddies and finally getting a chance to meet a few of them. See you there!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Tranquility base Arcade has been wired for Wi-Fi capability. You can now play Blu-rays and DVD's too! A second TV and additional updates are being planned for the arcade as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kong Off III

Once again I made the first place trophy for the Kong Off III competition held this past November in Denver, Colorado at Jourdan Adler's 1-Up Bar/Arcade. This year I had each competitor sign the bottom of the stool to commemorate this great event. After two days of competition and for the second year in a row the custom stool went to winner Jeff Willms from Ontario, Canada who won with a score of 1,096,200. Congrats Jeff!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mr. Litwak

A new piece of wall art was added to the Tranquility Base Arcade. On a recent pilgrimage to the Kong Off III in Denver, Colorado my daughters were thrilled to Skype with none other than Mr. Litwak from Wreck It Ralph! He wrote them a personal letter and it is safe to say Walter Day has joined the ranks of Santa Claus with my daughters! To my good friend Walter you have fans of all ages!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hi-Skore Soda

Tranquility Base Arcade now offers a unique "signature brand" drink - Hi-Skore Soda! Order up a cold one and try to set a High Score! Hi-Skore Soda is only available at the Tranquility Base Arcade and the taste is out of this world!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Video Craze

Tranquility Base Arcade along with "yours truly" was recently featured in a documentary called The Video Craze! Famed California producer Dave Danzara chronicled the current video game culture and is taking his movie to film festivals around the country. It is available on DVD and Blue-Ray so get your copy NOW! You can also visit the website at The Video Craze.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Twin Galaxies Trading Card

I was honored to be recognized by Twin Galaxies with card number 383 in their "Superstars of 2012" video game trading card set! A great big THANK YOU to Walter Day and everyone else who made this tribute possible!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturn V Rocket F-1 Engines Recovered!

Almost a year ago I began following Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, quest to recover the original F-1 rocket engines that lifted Apollo 11 into history. I'm happy to report he has recovered parts from two F-1 engines! Jeff used remotely operated submersibles to lift them from a depth over 14,000 feet off the seabed floor. Now the tedious process begins of stabilizing them for public display along with attempting to trace any serial number information back to the original Apollo 11 flight. The mighty Saturn V rocket utilized five F-1 engines to lift itself off Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969. GREAT job Jeff!

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Q*Bert World Record!!!

Tranquility Base Arcade extends enthusiastic congratulations to George Leutz who set the world record on Q*Bert. Leutz, who played the game for over 84 hours straight, finished with a final score of 37,163,080 . The mark eclipsed the previous record of 33,273,520, which was set by Rob Gerhardt in 1983. George set the record in Richie Knucklez arcade in Flemington, New Jersey.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rocket Gumball Machine

I must have been extra good this year as Santa brought me a cool rocket gumball machine! The machine makes an excellent addition to the arcade and is something else to plunk quarters into.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kong Off II

This past weekend I attended the Kong Off II and it was an absolute BLAST! The event was held at the 1UP bar on Blake Street in downtown Denver, Colorado. From left to right are me, my good friend Richie Knucklez, Walter Day and Jourdan Adler who is the owner of the 1UP. Walter was the creator of the original Twin Galaxies International High Score Scoreboard and the torch has recently been passed to Richie and Jourdan. I wish them the best to carry on the great tradition of of classic video arcade gaming. I made the trip with some good friends of mine – Scott, Bill and Zach – "The Arcade Rat Pack" which are now also known as the Michigan Mafia Coin-Op Collectors!

As for the event itself Jeff Willms of Canada won the Kong Off II with an amazing score of 1,105,400. Jeff's score is the highest ever recorded for a live event! For his accomplishment he was presented with the first place trophy, a championship belt, a check for $1,500 and the actual Donkey Kong machine he played on!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kong Off II First Place Trophy

Heading to Denver this weekend for the Kong Off II at Jourdan Adler’s 1UP Bar. In honor of the event, which is being promoted by the creator of the Kong Off Richie Knucklez, I have made a custom arcade stool. The stool is going to be given to the first place winner of the event on Sunday, November 18th and that person will be crowned as the "Best In The World" at playing Donkey Kong. I'm looking forward to hanging out with many of my arcade buddies and finally getting to meet a few of them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Right Stuff

One of the astronauts outside of the Apollo program I have always admired was John Glenn. Glenn, aboard Friendship 7, became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. He epitomizes having ‘The Right Stuff’. Astronauts, as a general rule, infrequently interact with the public, sign autographs, etc. Many of the early astronauts have passed away. With that said can you believe the picture below?!?! Of course this will instantly be hung on the wall at Tranquility Base Arcade.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

....One Giant Leap For Mankind

I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Neil Armstrong. As early as I can remember, he was one of my inspirations to become an engineer. In my opinion he was the tip of the sword in the greatest engineering feat ever pulled off in the history of mankind. Without Neil Armstrong and the mission of Apollo 11 there would be no Tranquility Base Arcade. He proved to us that anything is possible. Armstrong's name is known around the world and he is one of America's true national heroes. He is characterized by fortitude, determination, courage and dedication. He put everything on the line for the betterment of mankind. Godspeed, Neil Armstrong.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Curiosity Has Landed!

Earlier this week NASA landed a rover named Curiosity on Mars. The six-wheeled rover is about the size of a small car and weighs approximately one ton. Curiosity’s mission is to determine the landing site's habitability including the role of water as well as the study of the climate and the geology of Mars. This data would be important for a future manned mission. Click  here to see an animated version of Curiosity landing along with footage from Mission Control.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lost Highway Arcade

I was lucky enough this past weekend to receive an invitation from John McCann to come and visit his Lost Highway Arcade in Altura, Minnesota. John shares a true passion for vintage arcade games and we have been corresponding via e-mail the last two or three years.  Seeing only pictures of the Lost Highway Arcade does not do it justice. You have to see this AWESOME arcade in person to get the full effect and witness his attention to detail.  WOW!!! 

John was also the inspiration for me attempting to tie the world record on one of my favorite arcade games from my youth - Sea Wolf.  John worked extensively with Twin Galaxies to verify the highest possible scores based on a specified time duration (this effort was probably just as hard as setting the actual record!).  Without these efforts it would not even be possible to attempt a Sea Wolf record.

Of course I needed to shake John's hand in front of Sea Wolf and pose for this picture, as currently we are “The Two Greatest Sea Wolf Players In The World!”

I guess now all I need to do is get my shovel going and start looking for a Skee Ball machine. 

Thanks John!  We had a wonderful time!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

1980 Atari Battlezone Cabaret

I recently acquired a 1980 Atari Battlezone cabaret. I had always wanted to add a Battlezone to the Tranquility Base Arcade but had pretty much run out of room. The cabaret model nicely solved that problem! Approximately 15,000 Battlezone games were made but only 2,000 of them were the cabaret model so it is fairly uncommon. Since the game was in storage for decades and is not working it has been sent to the Repair Station for diagnosis.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My oldest daughter Danielle must have been taking notes while I was recently hanging up stuff in the arcade. When I got home from work today she greeted me with a picture that she drew at summer camp - "Here Daddy.....it is my 'Eagle Has Landed' picture to hang in our arcade." Her drawing is now the most cherished piece of artwork that will grace the walls of Tranquility Base Arcade. It doesn't get any better than that!