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March 17, 2007

Nikon D80

Filed under: General,Netherlands — stephane @ 11:01 pm

Since I was in New York this week, I took advantage of the very strong euro (1.32) to offer myself a gift as a Nikon D80, with its kit lens 18-135mm (quite sharp as long as there is light since it’s f/3.5-5.6) as well as the Sigma 105mm Macro lens.

B&H was out of stock in the lenses I was interested in the first place, and in particular the Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8G Fisheye which is super nice for underwater wide angle.

As for the rest, I will have to experiment this baby.

March 7, 2007

Washing Machine vs Mobile Phone

Filed under: General,Netherlands — stephane @ 3:29 am

That’s my best so far, I’m impressed.

So I came back from work, pretty soaked as usual, since it is only raining in the Netherlands about 400 days per year.
No hesitation, I took everything off and stuff it into the washing machine, switched it on, and off we go…

After actually 2 minutes.. I had a doubt. I have this wonderful slim Samsung SGH-D900, that fits well in a pocket, and it was not in my jacket…could have forgot it at the office just like yesterday..anyway, I interrupt the washing machine cycle, get the jean off, check the pockets, nothing… somehow relieved.. damned I forgot it again at the office. grrr.. put back everything in the machine. Resume.

After the cycle is finished I unload the machine…just to…find the mobile phone.

Of course it’s not working anymore..so me as a geek start to unscrew the whole thing and see if anything could be done to dry it aah, desperate attempt frustrated that I am to have such a shiny toy totally unusable while in mint condition. (Hammering the bugger would make me feel less miserable). I tried to dry the whole thing and after a while attempted to replug the battery just to have a very nice kaleidoscope on the screen and the buzzer buzzing…

Wonderful.

So now, I must get a new phone.

Zoja, apparently had good fun when she read my Skype mood message while vacationing in Malta.

Mood message being “A mobile phone in a washing machine is a bad idea. F*! F*! F*! F*!”

September 17, 2006

You cannot live in the Netherlands without …

Filed under: Netherlands,Software — stephane @ 7:49 pm

… a bike !

So I bought myself a bike in Decathlon Amsterdam today, no less than something called Triban Trail 7.
It is made by Decathlon Cycle which is known as b’Twin since 2006.

It has a great look and I’m flying….woooooosh. So next time maybe I will do some small cycling from Leiden to Amsterdam and back just to oxygen myself.
One of the great thing in the Netherlands is the fact that you can cycle just about everywhere as you have reserved roads and you have priority.

The bad thing being that apparently, even though there are probably more bikes than people, for some reasons there is a “high crime rate” (ie: bikes get stolen). So …you need a lock…and hope for the best.. I will take the bike to my office anyway :)

August 21, 2006

Finally…I now live in Leiden… errr Oegstgeest

Filed under: Netherlands — stephane @ 8:08 pm

I took the Eurostar friday evening back to Paris. Now that I have the key of my apartment, it was a good time to at least get the essential inside…which means a bed and a few other minor items. I rented a Kangoo from Europcar in Paris at the last minute to move a couple of boxes from Shrugard. I left at 12:30 from Paris and arrived at my place around 17:30 after 500 something kilometers and strong rains showers in between. I then moved all the boxes (2nd floor – nice exercise), went quickly get shopping next door, spent the evening removing items from parcels…and getting the Hi-Fi 5.1 up and running so that at least I could enjoy some nice music in the evening.

I left from Leiden around 09:30 to drive back to Paris, dropped the car at 15:00, took the RER to an hotel at Torcy and I’m now ready to drive back again to Leiden tomorrow morning with my own car after picking a few boxes again.

So I now officially live in Oegstgeest, next to Leiden. Seems actually like a very quiet and posh neighborhood. The next step is to actually be able to pronounce correctly the address where I live so that a Dutch can understand it. I’m not worrying too much about people from other countries, they would not be able to guess the writing from the pronunciation anyway.

Now, I need a bike.

NB: When driving to the Netherlands during heavy showers, I happened to be driving next to an unindentified car that I would guess was a Kia or something. This car is the most dangerous thing ever as the water coming from the wheels is funneled through the sides and blowing straight on your windshield with amazing force. It just like driving through a cascade. You see absolutely nothing. Someone stop that car !

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