How to look German

Hamburg sits on the Elbe river, a few kilometers inland. A cunning tax dodge in 1189 propelled it into becoming Europe’s second largest port, and a world class red light district soon followed, surrounded by dive bars and seedy nightclubs. These days the city is keener to present the area through rose-tinted John Lennon glasses, omitting to mention that the Beatles played the Star-Club mostly because they couldn’t get a paying gig anywhere else in 1962.

The Elbe is apparently pretty deep, because the Queen Mary 2 was there. She’s the largest ocean liner in the world, making the Titanic look small in comparison. She takes around 7 days to cross the Atlantic, at a price of $1000+. Mind you, that’s not much more than we paid for our tickets, and if they have broadband on the ship I wouldn’t even need to use up vacation days on the crossing. I bet the food’s nicer than Continental. If they toned down the swanky ballrooms a bit and made it cheaper, they could have a compelling business proposition. But I digress.

Anything I still can’t deal with is therefore my own problem

Well, the beloved parental units are now back in the UK, about to fly off to Ireland. Life here is gradually returning to normal, except for the extreme backlog of work. The original plan was that they would drive off and explore Texas Tuesday thru Thursday each week, then Friday thru Monday I’d take time off work and we’d do family stuff together. In the event, they stayed here for the entire three weeks.

Four fried chickens and a Coke

I’m in Chicago to put signs on doors. No, really. IBM is setting up a swanky new customer briefing center, where major customers are given custom presentations, attend hands-on technical demonstrations, and are shown proof-of-concept systems. Outside each room will be a video screen. The plan is for each screen to show the room number and name, the title of whatever event is happening at that moment (or starting soon), the times of the event, and the name and e-mail address of the IBM contact responsible for the event.

I hate the RMV

The paperwork arrived from NH, signed by Mr Toyota† (or at least, his US representative), saying that there exists a Prius with a certain VIN. I’m still not entirely sure what essential purpose the Certificate of Origin serves, since it doesn’t have a price marked on it or anything; did they once have a lot of trouble with people maliciously paying tax on nonexistent vehicles? Anyway, I went down to the RMV.

How to make online gaming a success

I have broadband. I have a PlayStation 2 next to the router and cable modem. I have disposable income. I play video games. Yet, I do not have a PS2 network adaptor, and I haven’t played any online games. I’ve been thinking about why not. I decided to put together some suggestions for Raph Koster, who’s the big cheese at Sony in charge of online PS2 gaming. Either charge a subscription, or charge for the game, but don’t ask me to pay twice.