Friday, July 02, 2004

The Swiss Empire

Earlier this week, with Christina working late, I found myself playing a fair bit of Europa Universalis 2. This is a strategy game recreating European politics and wars from the early 15th century to the early 19th century. In honor of our recent trip to Switzerland, I decided to play, well, Switzerland. I admit to playing on the easiest level; my excuse is the game's historical fidelity is so good, it would otherwise be impossible to expand beyond the two "provinces" of Bern and Schwyz. Here is a look at our holdings in the early 18th century.

Here is a look at the larger European picture. The white blob to my east is the Austrian Empire, my continuing nemesis. I'm in a little bit of trouble because they're more technologically advanced than we are (but we have these marvelous knives!), and my main ally has been France (the blue blobs to the West), but they've been weakened by rebellions, and for some reason they're not too fond of me any more.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Why I Hate Comcast

We currently have cable modem service through Comcast. Recently the service has been fairly consistent, so my main annoyance has been the fact that they charge us $15/month extra for not subscribing to cable. So when I got a flier yesterday offering us "emergency" service for $4.95/month, this seemed (and was advertised as) a savings of $10/month. The only catch is that the promotional rate was only good through the end of the year.

So I thought I'd call them and find out how much it would go up. If it stayed under $15/month, I figured I was in good shape. After I called and asked about the promotion, the customer "service" representative asked me to fax her the flier because she was unfamiliar with the offer. I was flabbergasted. Wasn't there some sort of code on the offer that I could read off to her? No, she needed me to fax the flier. I probably could have done so, but on the principle of not encouraging their incompetence, I declined.

Now I remember why I don't have cable service from them.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

ANTS pix

Someone went nuts with a digital camera at the conference I was at in Vermont earlier this month. They managed to capture me in a few pictures -- here are some of the clearer ones.

  1. On the bus to the conference dinner
  2. Waiting to board the dinner cruise
  3. Grabbing some food on the cruise