Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

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Frequent Flyer schemes – waste of time ?

Thought for the day..” Life is like photography.  You use the negatives to develop”

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time”

Are airline frequent flyer schemes a waste of time now?   Perhaps.   I have just flown from Frankfurt, Germany to Auckland, New Zealand, a distance of some 18 162 km.   Most companies see the value in recognizing regular customers and in looking after them, as they are an important source of profit.    But now it seems that frequent flyers are losing their attraction.    Rather annoying that for the flight from Germany to New Zealand, that I will not get a single air point.    I then go on to read that for my domestic flights in New Zealand, I will also not get ANY air points.   Two additional trips to the Pacific Islands, again not a single air mile for the return trips.    So for 12 or more of my flights, I will not get a single air point.   Not one.   And to make matters worse, when I do actually get some air points, the airline is now often only giving me 25% of the air miles, because I am flying on cheap tickets.     And when I come to try and use my air miles, they are asking for even higher amounts of miles than previously, and then are asking me to pay the taxes and charges on top.     So it begs the question, are the airline frequent flyer schemes now a waste of time.??

Fishing nets in New Zealand for the photo today……

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and another photo from the archives…..about to arrive in Funchal, Madeira.

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Changing names in New Zealand

Thought for the day….”For every dark night, there is a brighter day”

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point for another”.

Next time you look at a map of New Zealand, you might notice some changes.   And not changes for the better either.   The politicians in New Zealand are giving in to the Maori people and are changing more and more names from their English names to alternative Maori names.  There are even new names for the country itself (I refuse to mention the new name for NZ) and for the two main islands, which up to now have been known as North Island and South Island.   But the politicians either do not have the guts to resist or the will to resist the increasing demands of the Maori people.     Changing the names of places is just another sign of how this group of people are gradually taking over New Zealand.    What the politicians are ignoring is the fact that New Zealand does not belong to maori people, as they were not the original people of the country.     Not only that, but under the treaty of Waitangi, they even signed agreements over land ownership.   So now, after all these years, they cannot claim that it is ‘their’ land and there can be little legal right for them to insist that names of places in New Zealand are changed to their names.

But the politicians have just given in.

So tourists when the visit New Zealand will start seeing more and more Maori names, and will probably believe that NZ actually belongs to the maori people.  Quite how a MINORITY group of people has got this to happen is strange.   English, not maori, is the language of the majority of people in New Zealand.    Places such as Mount Cook (the highest mountain in New Zealand) should keep its English name.    But the politicians have other ideas.

A peaceful summer scene for the photo today…another triumph for the Fuji X-E1 camera.    Taken as a jpeg photo and cropped to produce this pleasing image.

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and another photo from the archives….a backpacker talks to a local boy in Nepal…..

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Political correctness – something is wrong here.

Thought for the day…”Why does a round pizza come in a square box?”

“If electricity comes from electrons, then does morality come from morons”

If you have visited Sweden recently then you will have seen the large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers in the cities and in the train and bus stations.    Whilst normal tourists need to apply for a Schengen visa to enter, it appears now that the borders to Europe are open to all, and without limit.     Swedish Television has now issued instructions to it’s staff that they are not to use the words ‘immigrant’, ‘black skinned’, ‘dark’ or ‘African origin’  for fear of  insulting people.   The use of words such as ‘white skinned’ is still allowed though.   Is that fair?  Is it not discrimination??  Even  worse is that anyone accused of racism by an immigrant is not going to be allowed time on TV or radio to defend themselves.  And whilst people in Sweden have had to put their names on waiting lists for sometimes several years in order to get public housing, asylum seekers are being put into housing quickly.  Across the border in Norway, asylum seekers are housed in hotels (at public expense) and are given a daily living allowance, whilst Norwegian people have to pay to stay in hotels and are taxed on the priviledge.    Is that fair?

The photo today comes from the lakeside town of Pembroke Wanaka, on the South Island of New Zealand.  A typical morning view of the lake from near the town centre.

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and another photo from the archives….window cleaning in Ljublana, Slovenia

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Making the same mistake again (and again)

Thought for the day…” We cannot control the wind  but we can direct the sail”.

” If you want a happy ending, that depends of course, on where you stop the story”  (Orson Welles)

I should have learned my lesson before.   Having suffered the fiasco of Windows Vista, I ‘upgraded’ to Windows 8, only to be caught again by all the bugs and problems of that system.   So you would think that an intelligent person would learn.  Once bitten, twice shy, as the saying goes.   But no, along comes an offer from Microsoft to ‘upgrade’ free to Windows 10, and I again fall into the same trap.  Not only are there serious privacy concerns about the new operating system, but Microsoft seems to want to take control of YOUR computer and decide for you how things will run and which programs will run.   Perhaps worst of all is that there is a clause in the user agreement which allows Microsoft to monitor in real time your activity and also which keys you are using (a keylogger).   Even if you want to you YOUR choice of music player, the Microsoft own music player (called Groove) tries to take over instead.    And Microsoft even made deleting its Groove player difficult, needing a user to go to a command line prompt just to delete a program.   The more that you read about the loss of privacy with Windows 10, then the worse it becomes.  Somehow I just cannot accept that they would be watching every key that I press on MY computer, every webpage that I look at, and every program/game/application that I use, all in real time.

So Windows 10 had to go, and gone it has.    I regretted installing W10, hopefully this time I will learn my lesson.   Experiments with the LINUX operating system have been far happier.  It is a much simpler system, it works as it should, and its privacy policy is far better.    Windows 10 be gone !

Lakefront in the South Island, New Zealand town of Pembroke Wanaka for the photo today…..

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and another photo from the archives…the Challenge Wanaka triathlon competition, held each year in Pembroke Wanaka, New Zealand.

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Jack of all trades, master of none

Thought for the day…”If you cannot do great things, then do small things in a great way”.

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score”

Just been watching some people using a drone to capture photos, something else that I would like to try.   Recently I was using TWO cameras at the same time, one for stills and one for video.    Had I had an action camera then I would have probably used that as well.    And there is an idea in my head to try underwater photography too, and the wonderful macro photos that I see in the magazines have fired my imagination too.     But I am wondering now if I should SPECIALIZE, instead of trying so many areas.     Video is a different matter, needing tripods, more editing and also a lot more preparation, no doubt drone photography and underwater would not be so easy either.     So the question is, should I just concentrate on getting good still photos with one camera.   Jack of all trades and master of none????

And some street colour from the Slovenian capital of Ljublana for the photo today….

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and another photo from the archives….before the storm, Longyearbyen, Svalbard Spitsbergen.

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Two sides of Oslo, Norway

Thought for the day….”Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”

“Be nice to people on the way up because you will meet them again on the way down”

Today’s photo is of the Opera House in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo.  Opened in 2008, the shape is supposed to resemble an iceberg.   The cost was a staggering 4.1 billion NOK, or about USD 720 million.    A new public library is to be built nearby as well as several office blocks.  Despite the wealth, the streets nearby have many beggars and drug addicts, as well as rubbish and grafitti.   Even nearby the Opera House, there are parts of the city that are run-down and are dirty, a fact that often surprises visitors to Oslo.    It is known as the heroin capital of Europe, with 248 deaths from drugs in 2010.   Again, visitors are often surprised by how obvious drug use and drug dealing on the streets is, something which does not fit in with the image of clean, well-run Norway.     Reality is sometimes very different.

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and another photo from the archives…a dramatic sunrise in Pembroke, New Zealand.

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Deep Thinking

Thought for the day…”The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary”

“It’s not that I am smart, just that I stay with problems longer”  (Albert Einstein).

It is sad and also annoying to see how  in New Zealand, that a MINORITY is now trying to take control of more and more.     Many people believe that the Maori people were the original people of New Zealand (not to be confused with Australian aborigines)  but in fact they are not.  It was the Moriori who were the original people in New Zealand, later to be followed by the Maori, who arrived from Polynesia around 1250 or 1300.   The census in NZ shows that about 600 000 people claim to be Maori, or about 15% of the total population of NZ.      So it is extra annoying to see that a MINORITY is trying to claim more and more rights for a land that was not theirs to begin with.     Currently in NZ, they are trying to get many place names changed to their names, despite the fact that they were not the original settlers.    Names such as Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) are being replace by Maori equivalents, and even the names of the two main islands in NZ are now appearing under their Maori names.  They even are even trying to replace the words ‘New Zealand’ with their own names for the country.   But many NZ people are forgetting that the Maori are a MINORITY and that most of them do not use Maori language as their first language.   Politicians are giving in to the minority, and even government departments are being given Maori names to keep the minority happy.    Look on the internet for a telephone number for Picton Department of Conservation (DoC) and you will see that the DoC offices are now listed under their Maori names.    Gradually this MINORITY is trying to claim more and more land for themselves, despite the fact that they were not the original owners of the land.  And the NZ government is giving in to them, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars.   All wrong.

On a happier note, today’s photo comes from the Pacific Island of Niue, where a local is deep in thought…..

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and another photo from the archives…..beautiful Picton in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

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Afghan market trader

Thought for the day….” You may delay, but time will not”

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled”.

Sharing borders with 6 countries, Afghanistan (population 32 million) became independent from the UK in 1919.  Pashto (a form of Persian) and Dari are the two official languages.  Kandahar was the original capital, before it was moved to Kabul.  The national game is not football, but buzkashi, or goat grabbing, where people in two teams on horseback try to catch a goat.  Kite flying is also a popular sport.  The highest mountain, Nowshak, rises to 7485m.  It is the world’s largest producer of opium, and since the US occupation which started in 2001, opium production has been on the rise.   It is said to also be the largest producer of cannabis in the world.

Today’s photo is of an Afghan market trader, complete with the usual headscarf…..

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and another photo from the archives….a 747 of Singapore Airlines leaves Zurich, Switzerland….nearly 400 tonnes !

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Street corner colour – Riga, Latvia

Thought for the day…”About the time that we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends”.

A bit of street life in the Latvian capital city of Riga for the photo today….and not much action judging by the photo.   About 640 000 people live in the this city, or about 1/3 of the entire population of Lativa.   Temperatures in the city in winter can fall to -20 or -25 degrees.  It became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991, and interestingly, after independence around 290 000 people (about 14% today) were left with no citizenship of any country.  Latvia is also home to Europe’s widest waterfall, the 110m wide Ventas Rumba Falls.  Apparently, the studs on jeans were invented in Latvia, when the Latvian Jacob Davis joined with Levi Strauss.

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and another photo from the archives..the waterfalls at Iguazu, Brail…..

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Last light of the day….from above

Thought for the day…”I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, and three times to make sure” (Mae West).

“Sex is emotion in motion”  (Mae West).

Up in the air……Who is the biggest?  The largest airline in the world (in terms of revenue, profit and fleet size) is the American Airlines group.   In terms of passengers, Delta is the world’s biggest private airline, with around 129 million passengers a year.   Emirates Airlines (UAE) is government owned, but their revenue last year was around USD 24.2 BILLION.  It used to be fun at one time, but now the security checks, check-in procedures and overcrowded airports have certainly taken the gloss away.    I often wonder who actually votes for the airlines that ‘win’ the awards for the world’s best airlines, but Singapore Airlines get my vote…..as does Singapore Airport (SIN) for the world’s best airport.    Norway’s Oslo (OSL) airport certainly deserves an award, not for comfort or for convenience, but for the lack of facilities and unpleasant surroundings.    Every time that I fly into or out of OSL I am struck by what a DISGRACE it is for Norway.  It does not get any better either.

Work means that I fly more than I would like but occasionally there are some perks….like this sunset last month, seen from an aircraft window in Norway….

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and another photo from the archives…an unlucky weekend motorist (Ferrari) gets a ticket in Stockholm, Sweden….

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