May 162012
Tell me your town is this serious about asparagus!
(And, no, I am not sure why it has a whistle tied to the stalks)

The Black Forest Phoenix

RIP Spellbound, Long Live Black Forest Games!  Today David and about 20-30 of his co-workers went in to their old place of employment and were hired by a brand new company.  I can only imagine the logistical organization that must have been involved in managing all of this so quickly.  There were huge stacks of contracts, The Friendly Lawyer was on hand, and everyone did lunch at a rather bemused Burger King nearby.  The only significant change in our new contract is that David will get the German Standard 28 days of yearly vacation instead of his previous 24.  I think we can live with that.  He starts officially on the 1st, so we have a couple weeks of partially-paid vacation to play with right off the bat, too.  David says that he plans to use it much as a teenager uses those final years at home- convincing me that I will be Really Glad when he is Out Of the House and Back at Work 😉   Mostly, right now, I think he will spend his time playing Diablo III and driving kids to and from school while I write. 

A couple of days ago all those who were to be hired by the new company went in to be seen and interviewed by the local publisher who will be hiring them for their biggest project.  That went quite well.  So, at the end of the day they all had a meeting and voted on the new name for the company.  David’s suggestion of Angry Hamster made it far into the voting and had passionate support, but lost out when a few folks with different aesthetics dinged it.  Black Forest had the nice local feel and the advantage of not offending anyone’s sensibilities. So, Black Forest it is.  Interestingly, the German version of the same name, Schwarzwald, did not garner much support.  The gaming industry is apparently anglo-centric!  We actually knew this, though since one of the recruiters David talked to when things were up in the air mentioned that almost all the European Gaming Houses spoke English internally.

Errata– Thanks to Florian for letting us know: Your employer must give you 4 weeks notice when you lose your job in Germany, so our 3 month Visa clock would not have started running until a month after David’s lay off notice.  And, there are other agencies and back-up unemployment claims you can make to acquire more money to support your family should you need it.  Also, Spellbound in its last incarnation was not yet the number two game maker in Germany, it was working on attaining this title.

Other Random Stuff

Both kids have a 4-day weekend for Ascension (AKA Flying Jesus Day).  We don’t currently have plans, but I really suppose we ought to make some!

The Berry Lady’s New Booth.  She is on lunch break here-
she just moves the berries out of the sun and leaves all the other
merchandise sitting on the counter.  No one bothers it.
I do love that aspect of this area!

Durmstrong seems to be undergoing a rash of practical jokes lately.  Earlier this week the entire senior class showed up to school in jammies and conducted a sleep-in-flash-mob.  Then, today we discovered this car in the parking lot.

“La Voiture Capturé”  The Captured Car– in French, oddly enough!

The best translation I can find indicates this says
“So to speak, Well-wrapped”

The school is also having roofing work done.  I rather wonder what the
pranksters might do with the scaffolding over the 4 day weekend!

Next week we meet with Durmstrong Staff to discuss DS’s progress.  DD has a performance coming up next month.  And, we REALLY ought to get out and about at some point while David is home- but I have a couple more books due over the next few weeks, so we will see what we can see!

Sound Evidence
I have been meaning to get a sample of this for ages.  Here is a (bad) recording of the school bell at Hogwarts.  Am I wrong?  That is the Westminster bells followed by the theme to The Exorcist, isn’t it?  (warning, the video clip is for listening not viewing, but I don’t have a good film editor right now, so the best I could do was white and wavy for effects)

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