Since I was very young I had been drawn to the allure of pinball. I think back to an early birthday party my brother was attending at a bowling alley, and I was the tag-along sibling. Everyone got a quarter for the arcade at the end, and I chose the pinball machine. No idea what one it was, but while everyone had quickly died in their respective arcade machines, I was still on ball 3 and everyone had to wait.
I played sporadically in my youth, but only would ever stumble upon a machine once or twice each year, and would rarely have more than a quarter or two, or time for more.
I re-discovered the silver ball in the last few years, through reading the now-paywalled Pinball Ninja blog. That taught me the magical secret that pinball still exists, but now mostly in people's basements. (or for those even more devoted, throughout the rest of their residence as well.)
I wanted to start checking for machines locally and I found a spreadsheet of all pinball machines in Canada, as well as the MAACA forums. I read and learned. Eventually I started going to "league nights" hosted at people's homes. This was a culture shock in the sense that I had never before played a perfectly working pin. Always out in the field, the pins I were used to had weak flippers, broken toys, slanted legs, dirty playfields, choose one or more. In people's houses, they took care of their games and lovingly restored them, and also plunked down the serious coin for new machines. They also had some of the highest rated titles out there. Twilight Zone, Addams Family, Simpsons Pinball Party, Lord Of The Rings, PinBot, Attack From Mars, No Good Gofers, etc. The A-Listers.
Living in a small-ish downtown home, I spent a good year figuring owning one was out of the question. But then I started to organize and strategize. Long story short, a half-year spent casually sorting, purging, cleaning, and reorganizing, I had the most efficiently organized garage and basement. I also had green painter's tape on the floor marking space where a machine-or-3 could eventually reside.
Then I bought my first pinball machine, and so I decided to start this blog.