27 December 2018

Bit by Bit, the Coin that wasn't

So the euphoria of BitCoin and all variants of cryptocurrencies appear to be going the way of the dodo bird.

I must say it took a lot of conviction to resist from throwing some money into it when it looked like it was never going any way but up over the past two years.  Up, up and away.

But what kept me on the sidelines were those exponential graphs of its jet-thrust trajectory.  It reminded me of similar graphs of the Dot Com era, the S-Chips craze, etc. They always have the same consistent look.

All good things must come to a fiery end.

I hope those who threw good money at it did make some decent money somehow. If not, it's been an expensive jackpot game.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to learn how the Digital Ledger Technology actually works, code wise. Fascinatingly simple, to some extent - at least the basics of it.  Guess I'm a bit of a geek. 

22 August 2018

When My Luggage Went Wandering

Wifey and I flew from Singapore to Belfast recently on British Airways, transiting through Heathrow Airport. It was a luxe trip as we decided to go with business class for the outward bound flight. We figured we could splurge and have a decent sleep on the way there, especially as we would be arriving in the morning and had to drive up from Belfast to our eventual destination.

It was a decent trip.

The British Airways lounge at Changi wasn't something to crow about. Decent, not too crowded, but limited food options (although decent tasting) and we felt, drab looking design. Could do better.

Service on the British Airways flight was much better. Great, first class even! But the business class layout is rather strange and I didn't particularly like that. Kind of exposed on the aisle. And the chap in the inner cubicle had to walk over my legs when I'm sleeping. Damn strange. The movies were kind of meh. I didn't particularly like their selection.

Heathrow is a strange airport. The aircraft arrived early (rare thing?), but ground crew was nowhere in sight! Sheesh. Took awhile for the aerobridge to connect for disembarkation. Too early, no service. 

Transiting, we boarded the connecting flight over to Belfast City Airport. It was a short flight. The airport is a very small one. Luggage started streaming out and were steadily collected. One, two, .... oh wait, where's our last piece!? *groan* It never appeared.

We went to the bored looking ground desk and sought help from the lady manning the desk. The lady was helpful. I guess she finally had things to do at this sleepy looking airport. Clickity click on her keyboard she went, but no go, nothing found. But she assured us, "We're very good at finding these things, don't worry. We'll send it over to your forwarding address." We thought we might never see it again. But that at least sounded reassuring.

And so the chase started, since we weren't staying put at one place, but moving from place to place. Nothing was heard till the following day. I received a message that our luggage had been found at Heathrow and it was being flown over later that evening to Belfast. But we weren't at Belfast anymore.  We were north of Belfast and travelling 3 hours south to Dublin. But not too bad, there was a website to update the forwarding address, which I promptly did.

It didn't arrive at my Dublin hotel that night. There was a message later that night indicating that our luggage had arrived at Belfast Airport and a freighting company would be shipping our luggage over the next morning.

On the evening of the 3rd day, our luggage eventually arrived at our Dublin hotel. It had finally caught up with us! Yeah.

Fortunately for us, we had packed our items more or less evenly split into two luggages. So we actually had most things needed to get by for the first few days. The inconveniences had not been too major.

The best part to all this was that it was claimable from our travel insurance. There was a sum claimable for every 6 hours of delay, up to a maximum of $1,200. The claim submission was straightforward as we had a good agent who helped process the paperwork, with everything done via e-mail. It helped that I have a printer-scanner to print the forms and to scan in after filling. It was hassle free, and the insurance company replied that it was being processed a few days later. A letter came a few more days letter saying it was approved with a cheque enclosed.

I'm glad we bought travel insurance as always. Peace of mind in case of emergencies. In this case, absolutely yeah! Guess we got a discount for this trip.

Don't forget to buy travel insurance for your next trip!