One Laid Back Fellow


© Copyright 2002

By John L Patton, tiltjlp


Greywolf comes across not only as laid back, but very mellow as well. And to that a sense of humor that laughs at most anything and everything. In response to my question about his name and age, his initial relay was ”I hope you realize that now that I’m releasing my real name in public, I’m going to have to ship you all to Siberia without your satellite uplinks. You can get away with it in person, but I definitely prefer to go by my handle online.”


James Chase Graham, who claims to reside in the United States Of Confusion, came to light on a fortuitous Autumn day shortly after the [old] new year. He was the second child of a passbook printer, graphic designer, salesman, sailor, trombonist and a French horn player, freelance artist, sailor. His brother is a guitarist extraordinaire who is currently living in or near a church in Wichita Falls, Texas. So you have to know that Greywolf surely can’t be just a simple, run-of-the-mill sort of fellow now, can he?


“Moved to Pretentiously Mellow Marin County in the late ‘60s at the age of smallish,” he told me. “Moved from there to Concord, California in the earliest ‘90s, to be with my wife-to-be. I’m now ages, physically, at last, somewhere between 35 and 40”. Somehow I wonder if he knows for sure.

“We were married in 1992, and divorced in 2001, and I whatevered last week. You might say I’m single with extenuating circumstances, which means I’m looking, or rther was, till right around Halloween”.


Greywolf, says he is ”under 6 ft, have long brown hair, mostly slender, but some days I think I’m pregnant with a six-pack of Sam Adams or something. I used to get mistaken for Jesus a lot, until I went from Marin County to the East Bay with a hat and a mandolin and got mistaken for one Arlo Guthrie. And I have two gorgeous little girls who I wouldn’t trade for all the gold in Fort Knox, but if you want to borrow them for non-illicit purposes, I’m sure we can work something out. They rent by the day.”


“I had the dubious honor of attending a private school kindergarten, which I had the pleasure of repeating due to poor social skills, and in spite of my mental acuity, all the way through the fifth grade. At that point, I was summarily tossed through the doggie door, and beyond its back swing, thank goodness, for not applying myself to either classroom studies or homework.”


In his spare time, Greywolf, which he prefers being called, likes “to draw, make music, attempt to write stories, as well as read them, try to program, upgrade my computer, and see what sort of new things I can do with VP. Most of my free time is subsumed by sleeping, taking care of my kids and housework, or working”.


“I’m also an extreme real life pinball aficionado, although I only have two tables right now, due to space limitations. I picked up Xenon and Black Knight for $100, and have only sunk another $150 into repairs. Both cabinets are 8, the playfields are 8+, BK’s backglass is 7-, but Xenon’s are in mint condition. I really scored with them. I also own a Stargate video Game, Williams 1981, not the one made after the movie. It needs a sound board, so if anyone has one, please contact me”.


Greywolf discover VP in February of 2002, while looking for sites that had MAME and/or Roms, and VpinMAME showed up in the search. “I went and downloaded VPinMAME, it mentioned Visual Pinball, and of course it pointed me to the VP Forums, where there was a VP Chat going on. Unaware that VPM needed VP to run, I dropped in on the chat and started asking questions. Gravatar is a champion in my opinion, and really helped me out. He was very patient with all my newbie questions. Between Gravatar and Plumb, I finally got everything up and running. I downloaded Firepower, started it up, and thought, Hey, you know, with a bit of work, I wonder if I could do anything with this? Three releases later. I’m still doing things with it. The playfield is undergoing some flux right now, and I MUST redo that backglass”.


As for other types of games, I’d rather watch others, since they are much better than I am at them all. First person shooters don’t appeal to me at all, and the games I do find cool, I lag so far behind the learning curve, that just watching is more fun. My coordination on those things stinks, which is kind of surprising, considering I’ve rolled over Defender and Stargate”.


As I write these member profiles, I can get to know folks fairly well, and almost always discover a number of things about them that make them seem more human, or more sociable to me on a personal level. With Greywolf, it’s the fact that we share a love of Puns. He explained that “I love being able to more or less master the language I speak. There is no higher form of humor than the pun, since while it elicits groans and the like from the lowest level, it doesn’t make fun of gender, race, religion, creed, sexual preferences or anything else. Well, perhaps lack of intelligence, since the only people who don’t like puns are the ones who don’t quite understand them. They just don’t get the PUNch line, so they are PUNished for it. Off the wall humor is my favorite. I always say that the shortest distance between two jokes is a straight line. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana”.


“I discover Pinball in 1974, in the cafeteria/student center where my mother was going to college. There were four machine in a row, and yes, I still remember them, which should tell you something. They were Captain Fantastic, Old Chicago, Royal Flush, and Sure Shot. I love EM tables the best, they simply rock. Seeing the reproduction of ElToro kind of touched the thread of a memory which I cannot quite recall, but I remember the game vividly. Solid state games pretty much stopped being of interest to me around 1985; Road Kings, Space Shuttle, and Sorcerer were  the end of the line for me, with a few exceptions. Terminator 2 and Twilight Zone are those exceptions, with truly interesting game play. Pinball 2000 is something that should have been thrown away after being wiped off the bathroom floor”.


My best pinball experience was in 1979, when I visited Marriott’s Great America. I was in pinball heaven; solid state and electro-mechanicals as far as the eye could see. I went there with $10, and was able to play everything I had wanted to. I managed to keep Captain Fantastic pegged at ten credits for about four hours. My dad was especially amused with Flash, complete with its stuck slingshot. He thought the table was “supposed” to quake like that. My coolest pinball experience was being hypnotized by a sun beam which playing Firepower II. Five minutes later I “reawakened” to find the playfield maxed out and still on the same ball at which I had left it”.


“You may have noticed that I have this propensity for mediating, whether I’m asked or not. I have found a wonderful crowd at VP Forums. I haven’t yet actually conversed with anyone with whom it would  have been a waste of my time, although I’ve come very close. And, as you may have noticed, I try to find ways to disagree, and to bring people eye-to-eye, without inciting a riot”. Yes, very mellow and a very fine fellow, if you ask me.