Stephane's thoughts corner…
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April 27, 2008

Arrived in Manila… and the joy of flying Business

Filed under: Philippines,Travels — stephane @ 5:06 am

Made it without any problem to Manila..Schiphol was incredibly packed but arriving nearly 2h30 before allowed to make it without too much trouble thanks to Flying Blue Elite member. That cut the queue by at least 300m. After boarding, I had a pleasant surprise as an hostess proposed me to move to business class. I suspect it was due to overbooking so they just gave me a business class seat and gave my seat to someone else.
– “Excuse me, are you Mr Bailliez”
– “Yes indeed”
– “Do you mind changing your seat and take a seat in Business Class instead ?”
– “Absolutely not !”

I’m not going to decline a 170-degree recline seat for a 12-hour flight ! :-)

April 26, 2008

Underwater Photography Shoot-Out – Philippines

Filed under: Philippines,Software — stephane @ 12:24 am

I’m leaving tomorrow to the Philippines for a ‘Grand Slam’. I’m joining some friends for an underwater photography shoot-out from April 29th to May 24th. (yay !)

I’m bringing a decent amount of new underwater photography gear including Ikelite housing for my D80, a 8″ dome for wide angle (12-24 and 10.5mm), macro 105mm with woody diopter and all necessary ports. That will be the first time underwater with it. I’ll try not to flood it…

On the diving gear side, I’m bringing an Aqualung Kronos which has an exhaust deflector on the side and can be handy for photography (assertion to be verified really). I got tired of the Scubapro MK16/R395 which never was that great to me as I felt it was too hard to breath despite tuning and revision at the labs. (not noticeable at the beginning but after 4-5 dives a day for a week or so, you feel it.)

Anyway, off to Manila tomorrow. :)

April 5, 2008

A bank note worth $US0.00001

Filed under: Business,Software,Zimbabwe — stephane @ 10:44 pm

In May 2003, I was in Zimbawe for a couple of days. In 2 days the black market rate for $1US went from 1,200ZW to 1,600ZW.
In September 2007, official rate was US$1 for ZW$30,000 while black market was around ZW$600,000
On April 4, 2008, Zimbawe issued a new ZW$50,000,000 note worth approximately US$1 in the black market.

I kept as a souvenir a ZW$500 note from 2003. So now it’s worth $US0.00001

And this is with the US dollar worth not much. (0.637€)

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