Did I mention I was in Germany? Oh, yeah, I'm in Germany right now. Will be for the next week or so. That's why I needed that absentee ballot, since I would be absent. And while I really miss the last week of attack ads (When things really get juicy), it is just something that cannot be helped. I had to miss the Steven King reading as well. Sorry guys.
So the reason I am in Germany is Blue Byte Software. While I was freelance, I did some work with them for a new world for their at-that-point-unannounced game. The unannounced game is now announced (Settlers 6, the latest in a popular series of town-building games). I had informed ArenaNet when I came on board I had this outstanding commitment, and they were very kind in letting me go off (after we got Nightfall live, of course) to work with the nice people here in Dusseldorf.
The first time I flew out here, a year ago, it was through Amsterdam on United Airlines, and its companion airlines, and I was impressed by the tech in the trip and how modern the Amsterdam airport looked. Real 21st Century stuff. I had arrived in the new millenium.
This time, not so much. I flew steerage in a British Air 777 into Heathrow, which has all the charm of the old Pittsburgh Airport. We took off late, landed late, letting off on a tarmac with insufficient shuttle busses and as a result only a half-hour to cross the airport, a supposed 55 minute minimum trip (be sure to allow yourself enough time, chirped the helpful boarding pass instructions). I ran between security points, and almost inflicted a cardiac on myself in the process. I will say that the nice people at the last security checkpoint, who with wide-eyed shock realized that my plane was about to take off without me, were very courteous and supportive.
And when I got onto the connector flight, the plane would not go - it needed a jump. No, I'm not kidding. I crossed Heathrow in record time, only to find that the plane couldn't start without a truck to fire it up. So we were on the ground for another half hour before leaving for Germany.
Did I mention they lost my luggage at this point? No, I probably didn't, but you probably could have guessed. I could cross the airport that fast, but not my bags. Blech. Amsterdam just wowed the socks off me with its efficiency and modernity. Heathrow was a throwback to really bad airports in the midwest. Needless to say, I was glad to get to Dusseldorf itself, and was even more pleased when my jammies caught up with me several hours later.
The work itself has been just fine (you know I don't share such things publicly). Part of it is discovering what the rest of the team has been doing, and what new challenges have cropped up. I'm here for the next week or, so, but through the magic of the Internets, can still harange people mercilessly. Particularly since my bioclock is out of whack and I'm just a tad bit cranky now.
Big Bend National Park: East Side Trails - For the remainder of our stay at Big Bend, we pushed toward the distant eastern side of the national park. As we drove toward Rio Grande Village, we cros...
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