The world is a better place with YouTube. Or at least, it could be if we could use the Internet to change the world. Or, in this case, to at least figure out a way for me to play some more of my favorite pinball game of all time - Addams Family. When I was a waiter at a pizza place in Nashua, New Hampshire in the fall of 1997, much of my life revolved around wanting to just play that game. The game is successful because it combines a lot of great elements into an entertaining pinball machine that you just want to play and play and play. I mean, any game where you get bonus points for hitting Cousin It with the ball is worth fifty cents a go. There was a certain rhythm to the game and I was up to the point where I could play for half an hour on one play. I could get free game after free game, and knew how to work the various mini-games to my advantage to score a lot of points. I'm not usually very good at video games, but I seemed to own the game.
When I lived in Calgary, Alberta, a few years later, we used to walk downtown to Eau Claire Market to play it at the cinema there. Many a Canadian quarter would be placed in those things, because it reminded me of being in another strange place away from Virginia.
Actually, I can't remember if Canada has quarters. It's been a long time since I've been there. I can't even bear to look at the Wikipedia link I posted above because I don't want to be reminded of the greatness that was and likely still is Calgary. If I could live anywhere else in the world, I'd like to try there. Certainly, if I was going to go to school at some point in the future, I might give it a shot again.
It's been eight years now since I've been there. I've not kept up with anything there, and whatever local politics and sense of the media I gathered together is now gone, except for a vague sense of geography. A city of nearly a million people at the time, it felt like a good example of how to grow well in that everything was planned out, with an appropriate grid system, interconnected with a series of high-capacity highways. Of course, the TransCanada more or less grinded to a halt, as it seemed to do in every other western Canadian city it passed through.
I miss Canada, and I miss Calgary, but I doubt I'll ever go back there. It's too risky these days to consider moving far away. I think of my son very far away and I'm struck by how much further away he seems now that transportation costs keep rising.
Since Calgary, I've been more or less not in regular contact with a copy of Addams Family Values. The only exception is the arcade at Smith Mountain Lake, on the Franklin County side of Hales Ford Bridge. I do manage to play there about twice a year, but it's not quite the same. I'm distracted there because the arcade is mostly about collecting tickets to exchange for small to large trinkets, and not really about the pinball. Still, all three balls are in service, meaning that the multiball Jackpot can work to its full effect.
If you've never played the Addam's Family Pinball game, I strongly recommend that you give it a shot. Where is the nearest one to Charlottesville? A bar that purchased this game would have me as a daily customer.
In the meantime, after watching several Calgary-themed videos, I thought I would go with this one:
Oh, okay, I'll post another one. I bailed on the above after a few minutes. It seemed fun for a minute, though. The one below has a few clips from the Devonian Gardens which was this fantastic urban park.
I forgot it was the oil capital of Canada, to be honest. I wasn't really connected to what was going on there at the time.