Mar 252012
Is Maybe maybe a felon?

A Frog by any other name…
So!  We are back in the FRoG!!  You know, Germany is definitely a green place.  But, we have lived here almost a year now, and I can honestly say this is the first time I realized that the Federal Republic of Germany has anything more than that in common with Kermit and kin.  Of course, here we live in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland.  BD may have its own connotations.  But, green amphibians aren’t among them.

In any case, on with the story:


Not ours- yet- thank goodness!  But, remember when I said that David came back a week earlier than the rest of us to handle some Work Stuff?  Well, I think he was back 1 day when the company held an all hands meeting to announce that expected funding had fallen through and they were about to officially declare insolvency and go under government control.  Woot!  Way to feel secure.  Of course, we weren’t allowed to mention anything publicly until the following Monday. That is when things went public and Gamasutra (game industry news) made this report.

So, what exactly does that mean?

Well, like everything else of this nature, information came out bit by bit.  And, some bits I should probably not mention.  But, from what I understand and can say, here is what is up.

German insolvency works a bit like Chapter 11 in the states.  The company is temporarily taken over by the government who ensures that employees are paid for a couple of months.  The company can’t spend any money during this time.  At the end of those months the company needs to be ‘resolved’.  In practice, this means one of a couple things.  If there isn’t enough intrinsic value, or if no viable buyer can be found, the company may be shut down.  But, more likely, they will be sold.  If it is sold, the new owners can then choose to keep or not keep staff as they see fit.  But, again, the likelihood is that they would consider staffing to be an asset of the company and (knock wood) keep folks on.

If you note a lot of “probably’s” and “likely’s” and “if’s” up there, you are exactly correct.  Somehow, we managed to find instability even in what seems to be the most economically stable country in the world right now!  I am starting to think this whole “gaming industry” thing may have less to do with security than I tho-…. well, no.  I suppose no one ever got into gaming for a sense of security!  Still.  Yeesh.

So, the good news: 1) this doesn’t seem to be a particularly unusual event.  Many people have been through the process before.  In fact, one of the art leads (and remember, most folks at the company are pretty young) reports that he has been through the process and survived FOUR times already with various companies.  Apparently here there are fewer options to “float” your company without capital, so the insolvency laws kick in pretty early in the process.  2) We WILL get paid for March and April (though the March check is delayed until next week).   3) As the Gamasutra article indicates, there are several promising deals in the works and the company itself is well-regarded.  Everyone is cautiously optimistic.

On the other hand: Things just got pretty uncomfortable- especially for those of us here at the whim of a Work Visa.  I am reminded of the Dot.Com-> Dot.Bust years when several of David’s immigrant co-workers had to do the Visa Quick Step to make sure they got to stay in the country.

So, um, Stay Tuned on that one, I guess. 

What Else Is Up?

Well, let’s see.  DD and I have been sick pretty much since we got back into BD/FRoG (Oh, lord, I think that is even worse!).  I guess the combo of exhaustion and exposure to flight germs just got us.  It started as a head cold and then became more like a flu, with pretty much no energy and lots of pain.  I am just starting to recover.  I am at the “Coughing up really nasty tasting grey stuff” phase.  I recommend avoiding this one if you can help it.  Unfortunately, DH seems to be fighting it now.  Keep your fingers crossed that he doesn’t get it, because he is a REALLY unpleasant sicky!

Laundry Woes

The washing machine saga continues.  Now the water in the entire 1/2 of the laundry room where our machine sits seems to be completely turned off.  It has been all week, actually.  And, yes, for the record, we did in fact wear and soil clothes during that time.  David tried to mail the landlord about it, but no luck, yet.  And we can never seem to find the hausmeister when we want to talk with him.  We would just take our clothes to a laundromat.  But, so far we can’t find one!  So, I actually washed a full load in the tub.  I couldn’t help fantasizing that I was a Siren from Oh Brother Where Art Thou through the whole thing 😉   Any locals who may be reading this Please give us a heads up on what Germans do when their wash facilities are out of order?  Is there a laundromat in the general Offenburg area?  Please Tell!!! 

Speaking of Locals
I would love to know who has been reading here.  The last couple months we have been getting a fair number of hits from Germany- many redirected from David’s blog.  Drop us a comment or say howdy to David at work.  I would be curious to know what you think about our adventures!

Finally, right on cue, Spring has Sprung!
A couple weeks ago, I noticed an uptick in bird activity.  Then, just after the Equinox, I started noticing little flowers showing up in the grass.  And, around town they started planting daffodils and tulips.  The trees are budding.  And, the lizards are starting to race around.  I have been a bit too ill to take an extensive walking tour of Spring, yet.  But, here are a couple preliminary shots to set the mood for next time.

Bush budding
The motor bike that never gets ridden has gotten its
first spider webs of the season!  Already so used it is broken.
These are about 4-5 inches tall and just pop up in the grass!

These are only an inch high, but they are all over.

DS finally showed me his hair cut

Er.. DD showed me hers, too?

We hardly ever see snails around here. 
They are so rare that they hardly seem a pest- just pretty!

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