Entering the Zone
Pool is an impossible game. I'm not saying that it's hard. I'm saying that the ability to whack a warped three foot stick into a set of 20 year old marble balls on a surface as flat as the Sahara, getting them to collide with great force, gracefully curving and banking around obstacles, and finally making the target ball into the target pocket is absolutely ludicrous.
It's one of the great miracles of human dexterity that we can play the game of pool at all.
I suck at pool. Well, to be fair, my sober self sucks at pool. In fact, I have a specific range of sobriety during which I am Pretty Damn Good at pool. That range is between two to five whiskies. I could be a pool shark if I could get that second number higher. Give me three whiskies and play Bad to the Bone, and I'll kick your ass.
When I was a kid in high school, I used to do my math homework in the back room while listening to Led Zeppelin I and II on repeat. I love those albums, and still think they contain some of the best Blues around. But eventually a Pavlovian thing happened. They put me in The Math Zone. I almost couldn't do math without them. Great for homework, but terrible for the big tests.
When I play drums, I have to take my shoes off. Can't run that last stretch of mile without Domination. Burt Bacharach needs to be on the stereo when I make love. Can't fall asleep without reading SciFi. Can't read SciFi without falling asleep.
The Zone is fundamental. A dev in The Zone is a tornado of effectiveness. Rands has spent tens of thousands of dollars on his Geek Cave, just to help him get into The Zone, and he hasn't regretted a cent.