Jeritilley www.qualitysparesort.com

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Good Customer Service – Fujifilm

Thought for the day…”Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great.”

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.” (Dylan Thomas)

For the last 5 weeks, I have been without the camera, which suffered a cracked screen after being dropped onto the floor.    Sent it back to Fuji, but Norwegian Post (and there is a company who deserves to go out of business if ever there was one)  took 9 days to get it to an address near Oslo.   Then, after that delay, the camera got delayed for weeks due to the virus in the TNT Courier computer systems.   TNT seemed unable to get the camera delivered, and it just sat there for weeks, getting nowhere near the repair shop.   But here is the happy ending….Fuji (who are normally very good with customer service and backup) have offered to send me a new camera.  That was something that I did not expect, but it is good to know that there is good customer service around.   The feedback online is also good for Fuji, as other users have also written about similar good treatment.    So I am happy to continue using Fuji, just have to wait a little longer (now over 5 weeks) for the replacement to arrive.   Then back to photographing again.

Back in 2008, Singapore Airlines (one of the World’s great airlines) were still using 747s on the route from Zurich to Singapore.  The ‘Queen of the Skies’, weighing almost 400 tonnes,  is seen here taking off on 23rd May 2008 for the 10 294km journey back to its’ home base.  Flight time was around 12 hours and 10 minutes.

and another photo, an art gallery in Honningsvag, in the Artic north of Norway.

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS


Not a nuclear explosion, but sunset over the Baltic Sea

Thought for the day…”Well done is better than well said.”  (Benjamin Franklin).

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”

A wonderful story in the news at the moment from Washington, DC,  about ‘Steve’, the security robot who fell down some steps into a water fountain.  The high-tech robot was fitted with ultra-sonic sensors, infra-red sensors and HD video, yet still managed to fall down the steps and into the water below.   His makers, Knightscope,  have been providing updates on his ‘condition’ from ‘hospital’.   The security robot is quoted as thanking his human helpers for saving him, and he is also quoted as saying that he did not see the ‘No Swimming’ sign before entering the water.    Apparently the water has played havoc with his electronics (natually).  His condition was reported as ‘critical’.    So despite all the high technology, the ‘intelligent’ robot still managed to end up wet and useless.   And this is supposed to be the future !!

Not a nuclear explosion, but sunset over the Baltic Sea near Sweden for the photo today…

and another photo…Lake Hawea on the South Island of New Zealand, another Fuji X-T20 photo..

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RESPECT, FAIRNESS & CONSIDERATION


End of the day…..sunset time

Thought for the day….” Some days you just have to create your own sunshine”.

“If opportunity does not knock then build a door”.

Is it my imagination or are the shops even more crazy this year than in previous years?  Just had ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Blue Monday’ and now the shops seem to be in overdrive for Christmas.    And yet it seems that each year that there is less actual Christmas spirit and just more and more Christmas panic.      Hard to concentrate on Christmas when the shops are starting it earlier and earlier each year.     As usual, it will be madness in the shops in the last couple of weeks.    Happy to see it over !!

Couple of photos to show just how good the Fuji jpegs are.     Slowly going through the masses of photos and I am trying to delete lots, but it is fun to see some of the better photos.     With the great colours from the standard Fuji jpegs, then I can save a lot of time in not editing RAW files.     Much easier to get a good jpeg that is just as I want it, instead of hours of editing RAW files.      Purists will argue that there is more detail in the RAW files, and that you can adjust them more, but for me, the Fuji jpegs are just right.    Have a look at two photos below and see what you think of the colours…….

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and another photo from the archives….. colours of the Caribbean (Antigua)

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The airlines go even lower – more economy class cutbacks.

Thought for the day….” Never reach out your hand unless you’re willing to extend an arm”

” Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”

Airlines again.   So often, things that originate in the USA slowly trickle their way to the rest of the world.  Already the major airlines in Europe are beginning to charge for check-in baggage, and at least one budget airline (Wizzair) is even charging for carry-on baggage.   Meals, which used to be included in airfares, are often becoming buy-on-board.    Lufthansa’s new Airbus A320neos will have LESS legroom than Ryanair.    Like Ryanair, Lufthansa is now charging for check in baggage, something that is now becoming standard amongst airlines.    Now the news is coming from the USA that United Airlines is going even further.   They are introducing a new even more economy ticket.   As well as not having the usual benefits (things like being able to pre-reserve a seat), passengers travelling on the cheapest tickets will now not be allowed to use the overhead luggage bins, and they will only be allowed to store small bags under their seats.   No doubt that this idea will spread from the USA, as airlines will see it as another way to devalue economy class even more.    And spare a thought for the cabin crews, who will now have to police who is putting baggage in the overhead luggage bins, surely a nightmare for them.    So economy passengers will be squeezed in even more (Lufthansa) then will not be able to pre-reserve seats, then will have to pay for previously free meals, will not earn air miles, and if the United Airlines move spreads, will be forbidden from putting bags in the overhead bins.

Years ago, people mocked Ryanair when it suggested making passengers pay to use the toilets onboard.  The way that things are going with the airlines, then those days might not be so far away.

Time for another portrait photo from the collection.   Originally a colour photo, the picture works so well in Black & White.   Great, neutral expression on the woman’s face, and perfect natural lighting.  The quality of the Fuji glass is clear in this photo.

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and another photo from the archives….

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Thought for the day….”Winning is not everything, but it beats anything in second place”.

“Some people are alive only because it is illegal to kill them”

Part of the thrill of travelling is in the planning.   Several years ago, a collection of airlines offered a fantastic ticket called the ‘Navigator Ticket’.    You were given a large, fold-out map of the world, with lots of airline routings marked out in different colours (representing the different airlines), and you were free to map out and plan your own route.  Rules were simple, you could make unlimited stopovers provided that you kept going in the same direction (ie eastwards or westwards).   You were allowed to backtrack if the routes needed it, but basically you could plan a route with as many zig-zags as you could manage.   Such fun to plan a trip and work out an exotic route.  Then the final excitement. was when the ticket arrived in the post.   In those days, airline tickets were messy, carbon paper affairs, but it was great to receive though the post, a stapled bundle of carbon paper tickets.    Sadly the navigator ticket is no more.

Fast forward to today, with buying an airline ticket a frustrating challenge.  Fares seem to change at will, from day to day and at the whim of the airlines.    I will never understand why the same flight on the same aircraft can change price from day to day.    Buying a cheap air ticket now involves so much planning that surely a computer programme is needed for it.   Bring back the navigator ticket !!!

They say that the best camera is the one that you have with you at the time.   Up early for the sunrise near North Cape, at the top of Norway and at 71 degrees north.    Good to have the camera ready for this quick photo….just as the sun came over the horizon to start another day.

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and a photo from the streets of the Danish Capital, Copenhagen….

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Fast and Slow, Albania to China

Thought for the day…” Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving”  (Einstein).

” If you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there”.

Around 3.2 million people live in Albania, which borders Greece in the south and Montenegro in the north.  Italy is just 72km away across the sea, yet Albania remains one of the poorest parts of Europe.   One strange difference in Albania is that shaking your head means ‘yes’ whilst nodding your head means ‘no’.  Today’s photo shows the train from the Albanian capital, Tirana arriving at the second largest city of Durres.    At the time the photo was taken, trains ran all the way from the capital, however now the main train has been demolished to make way for new roads !  Even when it was operating all the way, average speeds were extremely poor, with the 38km journey taking around 90 minutes.   Compare that to the world record for a conventional train, held by the French TGV which reached a top speed of 574.8 km/h in April 2007.    Up to July 2011 (when its top speed was limited to save energy) the Chinese CRH2 Harmony train covered the 922km from Wuhan to Guangzhou at an average of 313 km/h.

LOW-RES-Albania-Durresand another photo from the archives….boats in Essiouria, Morocco.  Spot the man on the boats….

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Were there some red faces recently?

Thought for the day…” A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

” When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”

Now I am wondering if there are some very red faces at the American toymaker Hasbro over it’s ‘Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset’.    Red faces probably, not over the spelling of ‘shoppe’ but probably over the transparent plastic tube that is used to squeeze out Play-Doh to appear like cake frosting.   More than one person has commented that the plastic extruder appears to be very much like a sex-toy.  Remember that this item was sold in a set aimed at children, and was sold through reputable retailers.

LOW RES cake extruderComments were posted on Facebook, including on Hasbro Inc. own pages about the ‘toy’.  More than a few parents have been upset by the shape of the ‘toy’.   And if you have time, then check out some of the comments and reviews that purchasers have left on Amazon.com.  Sure to bring a smile…….and good that most people can see the funny side of life.  Hasbro are replacing the item with an alternative design.

Something more serene and less controversial here…Lake Hawea in Otago, South Island New Zealand.   The photo shows the main highway which heads through the Southern Alps up to the Haast Pass, before dropping down to the West Coast.   Lake Hawea is a popular fishing spot, whilst Hawea village has a wonderful cafe and restaurant (Sailz), well worth a short detour off the highway to visit.  Highly recommended !!

LOW-RES-roadand another photo from the archives…the rare Rothschild giraffe…WORDPRESS-ZAMBIA-South-Luan

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Busy Bee, and colourful too.

Thought for the day…” Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon, and wise too late”.

”  An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”.

For years and years, I have used toothpaste without problems.   But now, when I go through an airport security check,, apparently, toothpaste is dangerous.  And talking of airport security checks, why do they also make pilots go through the security checks??   Are they afraid that the pilots might gain control of an aircraft (!!!!).    Crazy.   And in one of the current photography magazines, I read that Manchester United football club in the UK is banning people from bringing in electronic devices larger than 150 mm X 100 mm.  So things like Ipads are no longer allowed into a football stadium.   The club said that it was following airports and also following security intelligence.    I would like to ask what sort of ‘intelligence’ says that Ipads are a security risk??    And also, what sort of ‘intelligence’ says that toothpaste is also a security risk.   Bring back common sense, and also get rid of this sort of paranoia that appears to be spreading now from airports to even football stadiums.

And today’s photo is a close up of a bee collecting pollen.

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and one out of the archives….a rag and bone collector in Albania…….

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Another beautiful morning, Picton, New Zealand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow”            ” The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

New Zealand is home to the longest place name in the world…

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwenuakitanatahu

It became independent from Great Britain in 1907, and unusually, has 2 national anthems.    Wellington, which is the capital (although Auckland is the largest city), is the southernmost capital city in the world.  New Zealand also has one of the highest numbers of golf courses per capita in the world.   You will not find any nuclear power stations or snakes in NZ, as NZ is snake and nuclear free.    And in the far south, you may find the tuatara, the world’s oldest reptile, which is largely unchanged for the last 200 million years.

Too many tourists rush through the New Zealand town of Picton, which is situated at the top of the South Island.   Many tourists only see it as the ferry port when they arrive on the 3 hour ferry trip from Wellington on the North Island.   But this small town of about 4000 residents is a great holiday base, offering watersports (sailing, fishing, kayakking, diving), cycling and also the famous nearby Great Walk, the Queen Charlotte Track.  And the famous Marlborough vineyards, including such famous wines as Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, are only a short drive away.  Some fine small cafes, wonderful fish & chips (a New Zealand tradition) and excellent accommodation make this an ideal stop on a tour around New Zealand.

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Mirror reflections in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..”  Happiness is no laughing matter”      ” Give up for a second and that is where you will finish”.

Are you happy?  Perhaps, if you are living in Denmark.  Interesting to read the 2013 World Happiness Report, which came from the Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and paid for by the UN.   Top place goes to DENMARK, second place goes to Norway and third place Switzerland.  At the bottom of the list were Benin and also Togo, both in West Africa.      All of the countries at the top of the list are expensive places to live, but this does not stop the residents being happy.     Suprisingly, high taxes also do not make people unhappy, as in the top countries, the high taxes pay for high standards of public services.  And another surprise is that in 8th place is Bhutan, where despite a low GDP per capita (USD 1400), the people are extremely happy.    And as for the world’s happiest people, according to the Gallup 2012 survey of about 150 000 people,  then the top place goes to Panama, followed by Paraguay.

I was happy with this photo that I took one morning recently in Norway.  It took a little bit of planning, and a lot of good luck to get it, but after several attempts, this was the final shot.  For those who are interested, it was taken in RAW and then converted into jpeg, using a wide angle setting on the camera (Panasonic Lumix)

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