Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nokia+MSFT: Power of Incentives

Considering that the present Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop is one of the largest individual shareholders of Microsoft, no wonder they tied a knot.

And it'snot a surprise he tries to talk the Nokia's share price down. He doesn't currently have any Nokia shares, but he will have to buy some soon. And the cheaper Nokia shares are, the less he will pays for them.

As Charlie Munger puts it:
'I think I've been in the top 5% of my age cohort all my life in understanding the power of incentives, and all my life I’ve underestimated it. And never a year passes but I get some surprise that pushes my limit a little farther.'

Monday, February 14, 2011

Make your life happen

Jason Fitzpatrick quit Lifehacker. Here's what he has to say:

The only commodity we have is time. Somewhere—in your mind, on a notepad, stashed in a virtual notebook—you have a list of things you'd like to be doing with your time before it all slips away. Do what you have to do to take those ideas out of storage and make them happen. You can trade and barter for a lot in life but you can never buy back time. Go live.

These Are the Last Words I Have to Say; That’s Why This Took So Long to Write by Jason Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Epilogue

Some people asked me why I needed that. Here's why.

I do not know where to start... Perhaps I should start by telling how a long time ago, when I was a kid, I watched a movie called "The Big Blue", and it forever imprinted in my memory, somewhere between the French cartoon "Time Masters" and the Bratislavan TV series "She Came Out of the Blue Sky".

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 12

Here I was writing this diary
Everything comes to an end. It was time for me to say goodbye to the Philippines, that hospitable place, which gave me so many new impressions over the last few days. At eight in the morning, a taxi was to pick me up and take me to the airport. Three hours in the car, then an airport, a plane, and three and a half hours to Singapore. Mark, Michael and I met for breakfast. Last conversation, goodbye. Then I went to say goodbye to the sea. I looked at the bright blue surface stretching to the horizon, and tears rolled down my cheeks. Then I jumped into the car and set off for the airport. On the way, I asked the driver to drop in at Club Serena, but having arrived there, I found out that everyone else had already left.

Airport, customs, passport control... All of those necessary attributes of travel are the same every time. They take a lot of time, but there's no way to go around them. And when yet another door closes behind you, you realise that something is over, finished. And something new begins.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 11

A restaurant at "Blue Orchid"
Back when I was preparing for the trip, I got in touch with Julia, and she told me that I had a choice to stay in one of two hotels: Club Serena or Blue Orchid. I looked at the Blue Orchid's website and, to my surprise, in a left-side menu found a link labelled "Aikido". Since I am a black belt in aikido, I was interested. The link itself did not lead anywhere, but after a little research, I discovered that the owner of Blue Orchid, the Englishman Michael McCavish, was a fifth dan of Tomiki aikido. I contacted him, explained who I was, and asked if I could book a room at his hotel. Michael replied that he was glad that I would stay at his hotel, but he at that time would be in Japan on business.

When we first saw him in the evening after returning from Badian Resort, the first thing he said to me was: "I came back a day earlier than planned. I felt that I had to talk to you." I did not even know what to think about it. Another coincidence in the chain of random events? Maybe. Maybe not.

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 10

A view fon the roof of "Blue Orchid"
Surprisingly, I did not have a hangover next morning. Either I did not drink as much as I thought I did, or the quality of the local rum was much better than I expected. Therefore I, as usual, appeared by the pool of Club Serena at 10 a.m.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 9

I began the day with a remarkable feat – I got up early and went to yoga at 6:15 a.m. Yoga is cool, but because I wasn't used to it, for me doing it was tough. By the end of class I could not wait for it all to end. We agreed, as usual, to meet at 10 by the pool, and I went to my hotel for breakfast.

On that day we were going to have practical tests for freedivers' certificates. As contenders for the two-star freediver level, members of our beginner group had to do the following:
  • Remove the mask at 10 meters and surface without it.
  • To simulate a leg cramp underwater, remove one fin at 10 meters and resurface using the remaining one.
  • Perform stand-by protocol for another freediver, accompanying him to the surface from 10 meters depth.
  • "Rescue" a freediver from 10 meters.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 8

There isn't much to write about that day – we didn't dive. Our team divided into two groups: the majority went to watch cockfights, while the four of us, including myself, returned to the waterfall. Cockfighting is one of the main attractions in the Philippines. It is a horrible, bloody spectacle; and I will let somebody else tell about it. I didn't even want to look at it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 7

On that day Julia planned filming her TV project. On the reef near Pescador Island, where we dived a few days earlier, was an arch in the reef under the water – "The Cathedral". The arch's entry was at 18 meters depth, and the exit at 28. Julia wanted to film herself and few other freedivers swimming through the arch.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 6

Having arrived, as usual, at 10 a.m. after breakfast at Club Serena, I found that almost everyone was so exhausted after the previous day's march, that even the morning yoga hadn't happened. A bit later the people slowly began to crawl together to the pool area, complaining of pain in various limbs.

Freediving in the Philippines. Day 5

The story of this day will not be as long as the previous ones. We didn't dive on Day 5. Instead, we went canyoning.

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