Wednesday, November 01, 2006


So Nightfall has arrived safely, rolling out on Friday to great acclaim and accolades, and I have to say that everyone did a fantastic job on it, putting in all sorts of hours to make the game as good as it is. But I also want to talk about two things that kept my own sanity through it all.

Patrick O'Brian and a hot tub.

I've mentioned the nautical fiction of Patrick O'Brian before - I am a fan of the entire Aubrey/Maturin series, and have been listening to a lot of the books on tape (well, CD) on the long drives up and back to Bellevue. O'Brian continually amazes me with his textural density, the huge amount of backstory, both historical and nautical, that a typical paragraph infers. Add to that the incredible spread of character in both Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Steven Maturin, in that their very personalities are both a much of muchness, larger than life, but still accessible. And if my early-morning conversations seem a bit more proper, in a Jane Austen way, or has a slight Irish burr to them, that's why. The Lovely Bride, when she has been trapped in the car, has enjoyed them as well, though when it comes to their love lives, wants to shake both the main characters until they rattle.

But the hot tub I have not mentioned except in passing, and it has been in operation for two months. It has a story behind it, involving the Monkey King and Shelly in Seattle. They purchased a new house and have a new child, The new house had a hot tub, which they were concerned about with the new child about, and so they offered it to us (the tub, not the child). What followed was a larger amount of work and expense than we had originally planned (sort of when someone offers you a boat) - preparing the ground (pea gravel to a depth of a half-foot), moving the beast, fixing the ozonator, getting the wiring put in, getting the wiring approved, fixing the ozonator again, getting a new cover to replace the one that had mildewed, etc ....

But end result was well worth it, as the Lovely Bride and I have relaxed in the tub in the evenings after work almost every night, as the deadlines loomed, watching Cassiopeia rise higher in the sky, and the moon grow gibbous over the nights. And while we're soaking, I tell her about the latest dispatches from the books I've been listening to, about Steven and Jack, and all feels right in the world.

And that's how I kept my sanity through all this. Your mileage may vary.

More later,