May 2023


Bad Customer Service

More Modern than Ameritech's best.

After growing up and living in the (American) West, I’d come to understand one solid fact about US West, the local telephone company: It was the most evil, awful, horrible, and despicable company on the face of the planet.

And then in 1998 I moved to Indiana.

Even before […]

Poor Design

As I noted yesterday (for the umpteenth time), Weimar is in love with Goethe and Schiller.

It also fancies itself as the European Capital of Culture—which is was nearly a decade ago in 1999. The trappings of refinement are everywhere you go in Weimar—Goethe and Schiller are fêted as heroes, art museums are celebrated, and […]

Early Morning TV

Sometimes I have trouble sleeping–it comes in waves and the past week I’ve had issues.

This morning my alarm was set to go off at 6, so that I could catch a train to Utrecht at 7, making sure that I caught my ICE International–I didn’t trust the concept of a four minute connection. Really, […]

Incident and Response

Incident Outline

Event: A previous guest or hotel employee set up the television in my guest room, room 107, to automatically turn on at 05:00.

Discovery: 05:00, when TV turns on while I was sleeping.

Desired/Expected Response From Hotel Clerk:

Me: The television in my room turned on at 5 this morning while I was […]


Dear DB & SNCF,

Ok, so my train from Frankfurt to Paris-Est (ICE 9556) is running approximately 22 minutes late.

I could be upset about this, or the fact that I had to cross platforms at Saarbrücken to board a different train set because of a “technical fault” with my train, but I am not.


Miserable Dienstleistung von VR Bank Weimar

Today I finally got my new Mastercard.

It only took four weeks after they promised me a new one in two weeks.

It’s good to be in the plastic again, and tomorrow I’m going to Leipzig to go dancing! It’s time to celebrate, even though in a week I’ll be in Berlin: dancing, partying, and […]

Travel Plannin’

The Miserable Dienstleistung of my German Bank has forced my hand on a number of fronts—like curbing my wanderlust this weekend.

I now know that it takes only 3 weeks before my urge to go kicks in and I want to go, but thanks to the Miserable Dienstleistung, I’ve had to use my American card […]

The Replacement(s)

Here’s a place where American banking services are better: credit cards.

It was on 11 January that my bank, the VR Bank Weimar eG, sent me the letter informing me that my credit card details were stolen and that my card would be frozen, that I should destroy my old card, and that a new […]

Gimme Me More

One of the pleasures of visiting America is to go shopping whilst taking advantage of prices that are lower than prices in Europe.

One Euro is currently worth US$1.44, which meant that my $70 purchase at Kohl’s will only cost me 48€: for the price of a part of a single pair of pants in […]

Amazon /punkt de /dot com

I am not sure what to think of Amazon right now.

Friday I ordered some electronic equipment from the firm—grand total: less than 300€. I paid using a bank transfer, something I’ve never used with them before.

And my Amazon accounts were subsequently frozen for account verification.

On the face of it, account verification is […]