Relaxation FAIL

Or… Gregg and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

As usual, we have been quite busy with development around here, and everything seems to have stepped up the pace since the start of March. I thought that I was going to get a break last weekend, but ended having to correct a mistake (of my own making, to be fair), so I ended of working especially long hours on Sunday. In exchange, however, I decided to take yesterday [Tuesday, March 17] off to enjoy the particularly nice weather around here.

We have a secondary office and retreat at an “undisclosed location”, surrounded by woods and nature, away from the normal demands of a daily office. (We do, of course, have the modern computer amenities such as DSL and a wireless network, so I can go there to get work done away from interruptions.) This place also serves as a storage location for the company archives. Or, rather, it did

On a beautiful early Spring day, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, we arrived for some basic relaxation (and to drop off an offsite backup). Upon opening the front door, though, we were greeted with an unpleasant moisture in the air, followed quickly by the discovery of a plumbing failure that had completely flooded one bathroom, the hallway, and two adjacent rooms. One of those rooms held the archives.

Further inspection showed that many of the items on or near the floor, including a large portion of our collection of game development and programming books from the last 30 years, had been ruined. As we quickly moved to save the dry items and salvage as much of the wet stuff as possible, we discovered that the floor in the room had partially collapsed, causing a stack of books to fall into a wall, seriously damaging it as well. However, we just kept working until the rooms were mostly empty, and then I succumbed to the shock.

The overall damage is still being assessed, and the standing water is still not yet cleaned up. (Carpeting acts as a sponge and effective water conduit.) I can definitely say, for a fact, that some irreplaceable items were totally ruined, but also that some of the items ruined probably would have already been eBay fodder for a few bucks had I found the time. Thankfully, many boxes avoided the water entirely, but usually at the expense of whatever they were sitting on. Much of the paperwork still needs to be evaluated and either salvaged or discarded. All of the registration letters for PACMANIA were submerged. The PlayStation 2 development system survived by being perched on some furniture, but the Apple II (and color monitor) in original packaging were not so fortunate; I truly hope it was only the boxes that were destroyed.

The blog posting originally planned for today has been moved to Friday. For now, I sit in mourning.

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