Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Archive for July, 2013

Before The Storm – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Yesterday is history, learn from it.  Today is the present, act on it.  Tomorrow is the future, plan for it”.

“When the wind changes, pessimists will complain, optimists will hope for the wind to change, and leaders will adjust the sails”.

A photo today taken just before a storm, and just before the last bit of sunshine disappeared.  Taken in the settlement of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen in the far north.   Originally a whaling station, it was the mining of coal that later became important.   Spitsbergen is shared between Norway and Russia, and both companies still have coal mines there.    There is even a branch of a Norwegian university there, to study Artic sciences.   Spitsbergen has a population of around 2700 people. although they are far outnumbered by the number of polar bears.   Due to the large number of polar bears, trekkers and hikers are required to carry a gun when outside of settlements.    There is also a Seed Vault here, a sort of domesday project to store seeds from every country in the world.  From Spitsbergen is is not far to the North Pole.

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Train Driver – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people”
“Goals are like underwear, you have to change them once in a while to feel better about yourself”.

Did you know that the North Pole and South Pole have only 1 sunrise and 1 sunset each year?   And because the speed that the Earth rotates at is slowing down, the years are also getting shorter, around 400 million years ago a year was about 410 days, although the days were then only 21 hours long.   Even on the Equator, the days are not exactly 12 hours long, due to changes in the size of the sun and atmospheric conditions, and daylight can up to 7 minutes longer.   And due to the unusual orbit of the Earth, then the Northern Hemisphere has longer days than the Southern Hemisphere, with the sun being north of the Equator for 4 more days than in the Southern Hemisphere.  People who build sundials will also know about the Equation of Time, which is used to make corrections for the uneven spinning of the Earth.

Another steam train photo today, but this time the engine driver.   The photo was taken recently in Uppsala, Sweden during one of the weekend steam train specials, and is a timeless photo.  All aboard please!!

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Artic Poppy – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day….” Patience is the companion of wisdom ”                      ”  Freedom is the oxygen of the soul”r

A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top

A photo of an Artic Poppy today, and a nice close up.   Again, this shows what you can do with a normal, cheap consumer camera.   The most famous product from poppies is opium, but poppies are also used in the production of other drugs and also in food.  Poppies are rich in oil, carbohydrates, calcium and protein.  Poppy oil can be used in cooking, as a salad dressing oil, or for making margarine.    Poppies are also used in paints, varnishes, and cosmetics.  Due to their connection with strong drugs, the red poppy has become known as a  symbol of sleep, and due to the colour (red) of the most common poppy, they have become connected with blood and death.   The poppy also forms part of the flag of the Republic of Macedonia.  Very interesting that the Artic Poppy uses its petals to warm the air inside its centre, rather like a solar reflector, and also turns to follow the sun around the sky, in the same manner as sunflowers do.   The plant is classified as vulnerable due to its sensitivity to rises in temperature caused by global warming.

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WORDPRESS poppy

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Finals to land Thomson 757 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Never allow your mind to be a garden for negative thoughts.  If you do, then you will only harvest tears”.

” Without bad days, who would know what a good one way?”

A sad story in the news today from London, UK.  The police there have seized a Lamborghini  Aventador (the latest model) worth USD 450 000 for having no insurance (!!) and may end up being crushed shortly.  The car was seized near the famous Harrods department store in London, UK, and is owned by one of the Qatari ruling family.   The same fate has also happened to Ferrari and Porsche cars previously, but it is thought that it will be the first Lamborghini that has been seized and scrapped in this way.     I wonder why they do not try and sell it, instead of just crushing it???

I was watching passengers in a busy train/bus terminal recently and was struck by the huge number of people online, even when they were walking or waiting.    This made me think that we are never properly ‘away’, as we are now always connected and receive almost instant news from friends even when we are thousands of km away.   Previously (say 20 years ago) you got mail once every few months when you were travelling (how exciting to go to a main post office and collect a bundle of mail, which you read over and over again).    Apart from those occasional letters, you were out of touch for months at a time, save for the occasional (expensive) telephone call.   Now people are never really away, as there is almost always a constant connection to home.   Even on aircraft now there is wifi, ships have sea have wifi via satellite and trains and buses now also have the connection.    So we do not get ‘away’ anymore.

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LOW-RES-Thomson-757

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Age of Steam – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Pull the string and it will go wherever you wish.  Push the string, and it will go nowhere at all”.

“Success finds a way, failure finds an excuse”

Many people outside of Scandinavia have an idea that Sweden is modern, clean and efficient, with a well-developed social system.   Once you spend a little time there, and start to read the newspapers and watch TV, then you soon realize that Sweden is far from that image.   Immigration is a problem (there were riots again recently in the suburbs of the Swedish capital, Stockholm), with discrimination against immigrants increasing.  Swedes tolerate foreigners, but they do not accept them.   That is one reason that many immigrants are confined to certain areas of the larger cities.   You can see people sleeping on the streets, and even in the very centre of the Swedish capital, there are large numbers of beggars on the streets.  The number of people going through the rubbish bins in the cities shows that things are getting much worse.    The newspapers reveal stories of people sleeping in hospital corridors due to shortages of beds, waiting lists for operations and pensioners not receiving sufficient money for a good standard of living.    As for technology, Sweden is far behind some countries.   Some shops will not even accept credit cards, and the Swedes still demand paper forms and photocopies for almost everything official.   As for cleanliness, tourists are now surprised to see just how dirty parts of Sweden are.  The city centre in Stockholm is dirty, with rubbish, graffiti and general grime.  Public works seem to have been cut back far too much, and you keep noticing areas of decay and neglect.  Whereas Sweden might once have been something of a model to the rest of the world, it has changed, and it has changed a lot.   Some things have remained good, like maternity and paternity leave and benefits, but overall, Sweden has slipped a long way. Stories of Swedish trains halted due to snow and ice, recent bus strikes and increased bankruptcies also show things things have gone wrong in Sweden.  It is no longer a model society.

New made to look old for the photo today.   The photo is of a preserved steam train at Uppsala, Sweden on one of its weekend runs.   The original photo was taken in RAW, then converted to black & white, then changed to sepia.  Quite an impressive piece of machinery and nothing in the photo gives a clue that it was taken in 2013 instead of 1930.

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Stairs from below – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….’ Heaven on earth is a choice you  must make, not a place that you must find”

” Just because you are not sick does not mean that you are healthy”.               ” Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”.

I was very happy NOT to be at Scott Amundsen base in Antartica on 2nd July.   According to the weather site, Wunderground, the warmest that it reached (and warmest is probably not the word to use, rather the least cold) was -61 degrees Centigrade.  It did go down as low as -67 degrees during the day, so probably NOT the place to be.  Apparently, Americans have occupied the geographic South Pole since 1956.   The research base there is at 2835m on an ice sheet that is around 2700m thick at that point.  As the ice sheet is moving, then the station moves by about 10m a year.   The temperature there has gone as low as -82 degrees centigrade.  Due to the low humitidy in the air, it only receives around 20cm of snow a year.  It is currently so cold there that the webcam is disabled!!

And a photo of a staircase today, just to show the interesting curves.   Converted from colour to BW for the best results.

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New Zealand housebus – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Some people dream of success, whilst others wake up and work hard at it.”           ”  The eyes are useless when the mind is blind”

In the news today I read that ‘Go Airline’ of India will in future, only be employing female cabin staff, in order to save money.  As the average weight of females is less than for males, then ‘Go’ has decided that, in order to save money (less weight onboard means less fuel burnt in flight), that they will  only employ female cabin crew.  I would not be surprised if a certain Irish Airline also copies this idea.    And from Philadelphia, USA comes news that technology has now got to the cemeteries and graveyards.   There, in the Sunset Memorial Park, people can scan QR codes on tombstones with their mobile phones and then read full details of the deceased person.  Not only that, but you can also read a guest book, leave remembrances and see pictures and details of the deceased person.    Digital Legacies offer this service for USD 150.

The photo today is of a New Zealand housebus.   At one time, these were a very common sight on the roads around New Zealand, but gradually, they are getting less and less common.  In the 1960s and 1970s new cars were often shipped to New Zealand in plywood boxes, many of which later found their way into bus conversions, party due to their strong floors.    An average sized housetruck took 5 or 6 boxes on average, which then cost about NZD 25 each.  Often a wood-fired potbelly stove was included in the conversion to provide heating, cooking and sometimes hot water as well.    A housebus similar to the one in the photo can sometimes be bought from one of the online auction sites in New Zealand for around NZD 50 000, or about 30 000 euros.

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New Zealand, Lake Hawea – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”           ” Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day”

CUSTOMER SERVICE .  Two very different experiences recently.  The first company failed to deliver an item which I had ordered, but when I sent an email to them to ask what had happened, I received a very open and honest email from the person responsible, in which she said that it was Friday afternoon and that she forgot.  No excuses, no trying to avoid the problem, but she admitted that it was her mistake, and only her mistake, and that she was truly sorry for what had gone wrong.   We all make mistakes, and honesty is usually a good policy.   Compare this to Booking.com    the online hotel reservation service.    After several problems, I emailed them, but Booking.com will not admit their mistakes.   Booking.com sends out several standard emails, and even after these, will not admit their faults.   So guess which company I will use again, and guess which company I will never use again???  Not the first time that I have had problems with Booking.com      and after my experiences with them recently, then no way will I use them again.

Today’s photo shows the beautiful Lake Hawea in New Zealand, on a beautiful summers day.   The lake is up to 392m deep and is about 35m long.   It is 20m higher now than previously, as it was raised to allow for hydro electric power systems.  It lies in a long valley formed by glaciers, similar to the nearby Lake Wanaka.  At the closest point, Lake Wanaka is only 1000m away from Lake Hawea.  Fishing and boating are popular on the lake, and there are several campsites around the lakeshore.  The cafe and restaurant (Sailz) in Hawea village does excellent coffee and food as well!!

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