I grew up playing pinball (mainly SS), before video arcades took over. I have always wanted to own a machine or two - or four. So in 2003, I got my hands on a nice Terminator 2 from a collector who owned/maintained 15 pins. I really enjoyed it. A couple years later, I lost my job and money got tight, so had to part with my T2. I had no idea how much i would later regret it.
Well, 2012 came, and I started my search for another T2. Not great timing I know... Looked at one in Dallas, but wasn't the right condition/price - considered out of state pins too (not as many to choose from down South). It wasn't until I placed a WTB add on Craigslist when a local guy calls to say he has what I am looking for. Sure enough, he did, and was located 10 min from my house! As if it was meant to be. It was in really nice condition and priced right. After a little TLC I am back in business and re-started my plans to collect some pins!
Early 2013, I decide I want to learn to work on pins (especially my own). I start working at Pinballz Arcade part-time, a few evenings a week, in Austin as an apprentice tech learning from one of the best. Get paid to learn to work on pins! Score. Not sure how long I would do it, but am still there and it is middle of 2014 :). I have learned more than I ever could messing with my own pins.