Friday, July 5, 2013

reflections on my first pin

It was March this year that I got my first pin, my glorious little Royal Flush.  Time to reflect, and to look ahead.
Most important is that the Royal Flush provided everything I was looking for:  a game to play, and a technical challenge for me to persue that wasn't on a computer.  Being so tied to home with my baby, I wanted something to tinker with at night.  Having spent so many years at a computer, I wanted that thing to NOT be at a computer.  Oh and I love pinball.  Perfect fit.

Royal Flush provided a few challenges, as there was indeed a learning curve getting in to electro-mechanical repairs and schematics and such, but nothing insurmountable.  I had a month of downtime that given what I know now, would have been maybe 20-30 minutes tops.

Things are changing:  I measured the back room in the basement and it was a snug 88".  Pinball heads are just shy of 28", and that means I could do a lineup, arcade-style, of 3 machines warmly cuddled together on that back wall.  The 3-pin dream! 
I am already resigned that my ridiculous stairs keeps me away from wide-body pins (I still cry over the lack of Future Spa,) but we love our house and 3 machines is plenty, especially considering my budget.
I will put the work in getting them down.

The space was a major issue.  Having owned the house for 3 years, the garage and basement were still a saturated mess when I had an inkling that I might get a pinball machine.  It took almost a year of late-nights:  opening boxes, sifting contents, purging, sorting, filing, re-opening, tossing, sorting, repeat...  Then came my cleaning, installation of copious shelving, and the continued purging, giveaways, tossoffs, and all that.
We ended up with the cleanest of garages and basements, everything essential, everything in a proper place.
That made room for the Royal Flush.

At first I didn't think there'd be room for an eventual 3 pins in the basement, but then I realized I could have 2 on the back wall, and one facing them, if I got rid of an unused dresser.  that was the lingering plan for a few months.  Then I remeasured:  I could fit 3 against the wall!  But oh, the left-most machine, there wasn't quite the clearance to pull off the backglass, a shelf was in the way.

So I went to the other end of the basement back room, where we had our IKEA Expedit 5x5 massive pantry.  I pulled everything off, and shifted it flush to the wall.  Gained 2 inches.  Resorted the pantry, put everything back.  Next shelf, took everything off, slide it 2.5" over.  Everything back.  3" on the next shelf.  3.5" on the next.  And suddenly there is enough clearance for the machine and the backglass removal.

It is a tight space, and how do I navigate pin moving on my own?  On MAACA recommendation I went out and got these great tri-dolly units.  But then a friend, who bought a machine after me, just said she used magic sliders, and so I tried those and it worked even better because you don't have to get the machine very high to get them under.  I'm sold on them.

I had made a post on MAACA a few weeks ago, expressing my desires for a 2nd pin.  That hail-mary to the community resulted in a number of offers, only a few of them reasonable.
I bought my 2nd pin today, I'll go in to detail about it later.  But I also recently got another nibble from my post.   It was a fun pin in great condition, at a great price.  And he was delivering from 6 hours away.  That pin comes tomorrow.
I justified it by saying that I would sell my Royal Flush, and so, alas, my Royal Flush is now up for sale.
If you read this blog, please help me find a buyer so I can balance my budget.  :)
But it's not a desperate thing, if I have to hold on to it all summer, I'll have the room, physically and financially.  I hope to get out of it what I paid for it.

The dream of having an EM, SS and DMD died when the 2nd seller made me an offer too good to refuse, and for a game that had some EM charm, but DMD grace.

It is hard to think it's only been a few months, but it's time to change things up.  Expect an update soon.

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