Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

XT-10

Flags of Convenience

Thought for the day….”A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”

There is an interesting story in the news in Norway at the moment about Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) overselling seats for the summer.   SAS has set up an Irish based division (SIAL)  and uses cheaper, Irish contracts to avoid Norwegian taxes.   But the plan seems to have backfired, as many staff have left the new Irish division because of lower pay and also having to work longer hours.    It is unfair that companies like SAS can use ‘flags of convenience’  to circumvent local procedures.   Same job, same aircraft and same routes, but different levels of salary for the same work, all because of flags of convenience. So SAS have been left in a position where they have sold many more seats than they have staff to operate because of a lack of staff.  I hope that all those passengers persue claims under the EU 261/2004 regulations.    The same thing happened in shipping previously, now it is spreading to other areas too.   Cheapest is not always best, and the same work should get the same pay.

Two colourful photos from Fiji for the photos today….

and another photo, a Fokker 100 aircraft seen here in Papua New Guinea, about to fly from Mount Hagen back to the capital Port Moresby.

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS


Aviation variety…..aid flights in PNG and military flights in Switzerland

Thought for the day….”Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”

Two aviation photos today, the first from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, where the missionary aviation companies fly into the most incredible (and near impossible) airstrips on the hillsides and ridges.  One photo from a typical landing…with the aircraft on one of the flatter parts of the runway.   If you check on Youtube, you will see some great videos of the flying in this part of the World, it is extreme to say the least !  Camera for this photo was the Fuji X-T10.   The second photo today is from Switzerland, and from the town of Meiringen, where the Swiss Air Force has an important air base.  Seen here is an F-18 Hornet aircraft and in the rear of the picture the nose of a Northrop Tiger fighter jet.  Camera for this photo was the Fuji X-T20 coupled with the 100-400mm lens.

and another photo…a F-18 Hornet of the Swiss Army, seen here in the Meiringen Air Base.

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RESPECT,  CONSIDERATION  & FAIRNESS


Overcrowded New Zealand – record tourist arrivals mean crowded resorts.

Thought for the day “The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” (Richard Nixon)

“Laughter is the sensation of feeling good all over and showing it principally in one place.”

One of the problems at the moment is that New Zealand is getting too many tourists, resulting in overcrowding and an experience that is far from the idea that many people have of NZ.  With over 3.6 million tourists a year now (versus a population of 4.7 million), the country just cannot comfortably cope with the large numbers of tourists.  Queenstown for example, often called ‘The Adventure capital of the World’   has a population of around 16 000 locals but receives over 2.5 MILLION tourists a year (try finding a local person in Queenstown !) and the airport has plans for a 2nd terminal to handle up to 5 MILLION tourists a year (remember just 16 000 locals).    Part of the problem is that airfares to NZ are incredibly cheap at the moment, less than half the price that they were a few years ago.   Flights from Europe to NZ are being offered for around 500 euros return for the 18 000 km trip, with specials sometimes below 400 GBP return.   So whilst NZ is breaking records every month for tourist arrivals, the country is suffering, with overcrowded national parks, fully booked accommodation and crowded tourist towns.   Cheap airfares are not always a good thing.

One of my older photos here, but a historic one showing the now bankrupt Air Berlin.   Seen here at full power climbing out of Innsbruck Airport in Austria on a winters Saturday.  Now Air Berlin are history.

and another photo from the archives…deep thought on the face of this man…..

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS.


Walking and texting, driving & texting, should be banned – moan for today.

Thought for the day…”Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Are you one of those people who walk down the street with their head permanently fixed on their mobile phone??   I have given up moving out of the way for these people who walk with no regard for anybody else who is walking towards them.    Numerous videos on Youtube of people who have walked into fountains and off piers whilst they used their mobile phone.   Even worse are those people who you see cycling and driving whilst texting at the same time.   Asking for trouble.       The trend seems to be getting worse in cafes and restaurants too, where the mobile phone is THE centre of attention.     Full marks to the cafes and restaurants who are now trying to restrict the use of mobile phones.    One bar in Pembroke, New Zealand has a sign up saying “we do not have internet, TALK to each other “.   Let us hope that more cafes and bars follow suit.

And the photo today is from Sydney, Australia, where there used to be an ex-Russian MiG 15 fighter that you could go flying in.  Not much space in the cockpit !!   Despite being an early jet fighter, it could fly at over 1000 km/h and it could fly up to 2500km.  It could also climb to over 50 000 feet/15500m.

and another photo from the archives….sailing boats line up to start a race…..

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS.


The Worm Has Turned.

Thought for the day…”If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.”

“Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” (Margaret Thatcher).

When I was 16 years old, I would always shop around for the cheapest (as students do), with little thought for quality or service.   But now it is the opposite.    I cannot understand why Ryanair (which is so often on the internet or newspapers for cancelling flights or upsetting passengers) is still in business.   There are so many people who will automatically go for the cheapest airline ticket, with no thought about quality or service.   Ryanair can upset thousands of passengers, yet still makes large profits.  When an airline upsets me (and many have) then they lose my business for good.  I vote with my feet.   Plenty of airlines out there, and those that mistreat passengers do not deserve business.  But why do people keep flying with Ryanair?    Cheap is not always good.    Service costs money to provide, but by paying more, you can often avoid problems.    Airlines such as Singapore Airlines are not the cheapest, but the service levels and reliability (and inflight experience) are FAR better.  If more people voted with their feet then average service levels would go up, as airlines such as Ryanair and Air Asia would be out of business.  Same thing with the airlines who are now putting 10 across seats into their Boeing 777 aircraft.  If more people refused to fly on these cramped aircraft then the airlines would be forced to go back to 9 across.  But too many people want the CHEAPEST.   But some of us are saying no, and are voting with our feet/money.

A photo from Aruba, in the Southern Caribbean for the photo today..

and another photo from the archives…beautiful coastline around Antigua, Caribbean……

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS

 

 


Think before you install……that app may not be so innocent

Thought for the day…”What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”

“If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

It is amazing that so many people install apps on their mobile phones without any regard for just how much information those apps may collect. I recently wanted to install an app to control the flashlight on my mobile phone, but refused to install it when I discovered that it wanted access to my camera, email contacts and microphone. Absolutely no need for a glorified light switch to need access to my emails or the microphone on my telephone. And a second flashlight program proved just as bad.

Now there is the news on the internet about Amazon, and their plans to open physical stores in the USA. Apparently, they are going to monitor shoppers mobile phones, and will block their internet access if they attempt to check prices at other stores or online. So not only will Amazon be able to see what you are interested in, they will also be able to stop you comparing prices, and presumably, will also be able to see other sites on the internet that you are interested in. No doubt many people will quickly install a new Amazon app, without thinking about the loss of privacy. 50 years ago, people would have demonstrated against the idea of carrying something that gave authorities the power to see where they were within a few metres, and also what they were reading/eating/shopping/listening to. Even installing a flashlight app may now mean that somebody is listening to your conversations. Privacy is important, yet many people are now readily giving it up.

A photo from Spitsbergen of the Artic poppy flower, braving the cold weather…

and another photo….early morning in Riverton, in the far south of New Zealand.  At one time, this port received freight boats from Australia before the estuary silted up.  Now the railway and the larger boats have long since gone, leaving just the small fishing boats and a few tourists who pass through Riverton whilst driving the Southern Scenic Route.

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RESPECT,CONSIDERATION & FAIRNESS


Always connected – the digital overload

Thought for the day….”It is not the years in your life that count.  It is the life in your years”

“Knowledge comes from learning.  Wisdom comes from living”

One of the big challenges now is that we are never disconnected.   People are now suffering an onslaught of information at all hours of the day, and with tables and mobile phones, this continues even when they are not at work.    Internet is available almost everywhere, and the mobile phone means that people are still connected even when they are on the beach or walking in the park.    Not only are people able to be online continuously, but there is also an overload of information now.     Some scientists are now saying that this constant stream of data is making it hard to concentrate, and is also causing increasing levels of stress.  There is also the problem of trying to juggle all the different forms of technology, and to cope with all that information that is now bombarding us.     So rather than making life easier for us, this technology is actually making life MORE difficult and stressful.     People now believe that they have to answer a mobile phone call immediately, and that the email that has just arrived must be read instantly, whilst at the same time they are still bombarded by information from the internet.  Some hotels are now advertising that they do NOT have internet, and also are advertising digital detox breaks.   Always connected, and not a good thing.

Today’s photo comes from the lakefront in Pembroke, New Zealand, where there is also internet.  Who needs it though with a view like this?

and another photo, the waterfront at Picton, South Island, New Zealand.    From here ferries depart for the 3.5 hour trip to the North Island.

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RESPECT, CONSIDERATION,FAIRNESS


Norway duo – the Fuji X-T10 camera at work

Thought for the day….”If we were meant to stay in one place then we would have roots instead of feet’

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’  (Buddha)

The photo today comes from Svolvaer, the ‘capital’ of the Lofoten Islands in Norway.   About 4500 people live in this town which was built on cod fishing.  Nowadays, summer tourism is very important with about 200 000 tourists visiting each year.   It is served by ferries from Bodo on the mainland and also by a regional airport.  Day trips operate from here to the nearby Trollfjord and also Rafsundet.  Being Norway, everything is VERY VERY expensive, making a holiday here a costly trip.   When a Norwegian is asked to name something that is cheap in Norway, they usually struggle to think of ANYTHING that is cheap.   The words ‘cheap’  and ‘Norway’  do not go together.

and another photo…..the very small village of Urke in the Norwegian fjords.  Both of the photos today were taken as jpegs using the Fuji X-T10 camera.

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Two from the opposite ends of Norway

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

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”.

So the crazy ‘security’ people in the good old USA have now decided that the humble Kindle e-book reader cannot be taken onboard flights from certain countries, nor a laptop, digital camera or tablet.   Yet people flying from some other countries CAN take the exact same items.    Just another sign of how stupid the USA has become.    And I am even more surprised that the travelling public in the USA is putting up with more and more of this nonsense.  Nothing to do with security, just a way for the Department of Homeland ‘Security’  to exercise even more control over people, without making flying any safer.    Even Australia is now making the use of the naked body scanners compulsory, with no opt-out option,  yet another intrusion into personal privacy and personal rights.     Based on these stupid, groundless ‘security’ procedures ( security scam would be another way to describe it)  then I will continue to avoid the USA, UK and Australia.    Airport procedures now are beyond reasonable.

A photo of the west Norwegian city of Bergen, taken from Mt. Floyen in perfect light.  Again great colours from the Fuji camera, taken as a jpeg.

and another photo….the fishing town of Vardo, Norway.    This is the easternmost town in Norway, and actually lies further East then Istanbul or Kiev !!  One of the town’s slogans is ‘Eternal light, Eternal Night’,  which is a reference to the 24 hours of constant daylight during summer, and the 24 hours of constant darkness during Winter.    The Russian border is only a few km away across the bay.

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RESPECT, FAIRNESS, CONSIDERATION


Overcrowded and full, New Zealand

Thought for the day..”There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.”

New Zealand continues to be overrun with tourists.   Whilst the tourist board seems to think that ever increasing numbers of tourists are a wonderful thing, those people who are in New Zealand are now seeing the effects over too many tourists.   Accommodation is full in many places, cafes are packed out, roads are busier than they have ever been (=more accidents)  and the national parks and nature are suffering (and suffering is the word) from the onslaught.    And there is no end in sight.     Airlines are putting on more and more flights (particularly from China) and are upping frequencies.     Trying to get reservations for accommodation at the moment is a nightmare and the once quiet country is now far from quiet and unspoilt.

The number of tourists has now passed 3.42 million a year, (population of NZ is about 4.7 million), and is growing by over 10%.     So the overcrowding at the popular tourists sights is becoming serious.     This also means that the nature and wildlife is suffering too.    Imagine driving into Milford Sound (which is in a national park) and arriving before 0900 only to find that ALL parking was already full and that officials were telling arriving motorists to turn around and drive out again.

And the worst part…..there is no end in sight.   Quiet, peaceful and quaint it might once have been.   Not now.

Today’s photo comes from the Old Town in Bergen, Norway.    It started out as a quick snapshot in colour, and was converted to B&W.    Just lucky that there was somebody in the sunlight in the ideal position.   Another reason why it is good to always have the camera ready.

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and another photo from the archives…..sunset over Norway from an aircraft window…..

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Crazy security checks…..

Thought for the day…..”Actions and consquences are a packaged deal”

” Life is a one-time offer.   Use it well”.

Travel has just got easier for me.     The USA, as usual paranoid about security has introduced rules which stop TOURISTS like me from getting the ESTA electronic visas.    If you have visited any of the countries on the USA list, then you are now ineligible for the ESTA visa.   This also means that you cannot transit the USA.     The American government cannot get it into their heads that there are TOURISTS who visit countries like Iran, Iraq and Sudan to learn more about the culture and life there.   But paranoid American officials now consider TOURISTS like these as a security risk.   So it is an easy decision for me, no more visits to the USA.  I will take my TOURIST dollars/euros/dirhams somewhere else.

And now I see that Australia is also becoming much like the USA.   Now at international airports in Australia, they have made the body scanner machines compulsory.   Of course they are saying that there is no danger to the public, but officials also said the same thing with the original body scanner X-Ray machines, until it was discovered that there WERE health dangers with the scanners.   So when they tell me that there is no danger (officials also said the same thing after the Chernobyl nuclear accident) then I do not believe them.   So I will not be compulsorily irradiated because I am innocent.    So now I will be avoiding Australia as well, including in transit.   And apparently, Australia wants to start trials of facial recognition technology at gateway airports to avoid the need for passports.    How much more big-brother is coming???       So two countries on the off list (USA & Australia).   Makes planning the next trip easier.   Their loss, my money will go to other countries.    And is it not about time that these stupid rules about liquids are abolished???    Since when has a 200ml tube of tooth paste or shampoo been dangerous??

And why do they make the pilots go through security checks as well?   Are they afraid that the pilot might get control of the aircraft??   Has no airport official ever seen the STUPIDITY of making pilots (who have full control of the aircraft) go through a security check?   I watched one pilot at Brisbane airport recently having to remove his mobile phone from his pocket to go through security again.  Yet no official has ever questioned the logic of such a stupid procedure.

Having been attacked and robbed recently by a bandit with a bushknife (see the previous post) I was searching around for a new Fuji camera.  I was amazed to see on a website with sample images from a Fuji camera, and advertisement for stab-proof jackets (see the screenshot below).   Either my internet is being monitored, or it was an amazing coincidence….

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and a photo from the now-stolen camera…..again great sharpness and colours from Fuji…..

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What would you do if………?

Thought for the day….”The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”   Martin Luther King

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you will not see the shadows”

What would you do if you were on holiday and you were violently attacked and robbed?    An interesting question, and worth thinking about.   It just happened to me, and it is interesting to think about what happened, and what followed.   A few days ago I was in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.  As there was no flying that day, I took the chance to go for a walk in the villages.    PNG is dangerous, and I had read about the walks NOT to do, and opted to remain on a busy path between the villages.  I walked passed villagers every few hundred metres, so for a lot of the time I was always near other people.    A lovely summer day, cool up in the highlands so it was perfect for walking.  It was also great for me to see from ground level some of the areas in the hills that I had been flying over.   The villagers were friendly, and many of them stopped to talk, rural Papua New Guinea.     After a few hours I headed back to the main road, wanting to be back in the main town before it got too hot.     Even on the way back, I was passing many villagers heading to and from their homes in the hills.   Children playing in the yards, village people selling produce from small huts, and men and women walking back to their houses to rest.    All very quiet and peaceful.    As usual, I took lots of photos, especially early on when the light was perfect.

Almost back to the main road, and in good time too.    I crossed the final wooden bridge before the last stretch to the main road.    Walked up the hill the other side then started the descent towards the main road.     Suddenly behind me I heard a man shout.    I turned and then was attacked by a raskol (the local name for a bandit or criminal) who was using a bush knife (the blade was about 30-40cm long, with a long handle).    What was particularly surprising was that the bandit was so violent.  Normally when you are attacked then the advice is not to resist, but this time I had no chance to offer money, watch etc.   The bandit was intent on slicing me with the bushknife.   Using the daybag as a shield on my side, I deflected the slashes with my right arm.  Strangely enough, at the time I did not feel the cuts, and it was only afterwards that I saw all the blood.  It was a natural reaction for me to put my right arm up as defense.    Not that an arm is much resistance against a bush knife used by a violent bandit.    The bandit hacked the camera off me, then ran off.  For a moment, I thought about chasing him, but then thought that he was too violent and that he had already been trying to cut me up.  Despite being a fast and well-trained runner, I thought that it was better to let the camera disappear.

The bandit had been lucky.    About 100m before the attack there were people sitting and about the same distance in front of me there were 2 people as well.  So that is perhaps why he ran off when he got the camera.   He could have got more but the camera seemed to have satisfied him.

The attack was only about 700m from the police post on the main road.  After a visit to the local medical centre to get the right arm seen to, I visited the police station to report all the details.     One thing that I have learned about PNG is that many people are fearful of reprisals from the raskols, and fear attacks on their families.   So this means that even those people who saw the attacker will not describe him or reveal his name.    He will probably continue to do the same thing against others.  Violence is common in PNG, often involving neighbouring villages and groups.     Law and order has broken down, and in many areas, it is the locals who sort things out, sometimes violently.

A couple of photos from before the camera was stolen…

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And another photo, again from PNG,

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What is on his mind ? Thoughts and expressions…

Thought for the day….” When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘We’ then even illness becomes wellness”.

“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”.

People photos are always interesting, and here is another from the collection.   Despite being well known for fantastic colours, the Fuji X series of cameras also produces great Black & White pictures too.   BW really suits this portrait well, and the neutral expression on the man’s face was perfect.   A series of photos was taken to get one where he looked at the camera at the right moment.   The focus point was set on his eyes.  We can only speculate what was on his mind when the photo was taken……

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and a photo from 2015, Alesund in Norway.

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Overloaded, inconsiderate airline passengers.

Thought for the day….”Without dreams there is nothing to love.  And without love, there is nothing worth dreaming about.”

Just had a domestic flight in Norway (on Norwegian airline) and once again, there was absolutely NO control over the number of carry-on bags that people were taking onboard, nor was there any control over the size of these bags.  It seems to be the rule now that if you can drag them (plural, as many people seem to be taking more than one bag now) then that is ok.     And even if the bags are too heavy for the people to lift then they are expecting the cabin crews to lift these overweight bags for them.    Not only that, but again today, inconsiderate people were trying to ram my bag with the force equivalent to a garbage compactor until their oversized bags would fit.    Why are airlines not enforcing the carry-on rules like they used to??    And with the new, higher density aircraft now (more seats squeezed in, but the same amount of lockers for baggage) then this problem will only get worse.   Airlines that charge for check-in (hold) luggage are also making the problem worse, as now more people will try and drag 2 or 3 pieces of luggage onboard.  But the word is consideration, something that was missing with a lot of the Norwegian passengers onboard DY761 today, and respect for other people’s property.

Some New Zealand humour….a sign outside a pub in Picton, New Zealand.

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and another photo from the archives…..the national airline of Portugal arriving in Funchal, Madeira.

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Thought for the day….”Learn to appreciate everything that you HAVE, before time makes you appreciate what you HAD”

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” (Henry Ford).

What a wonderful story in the news in the last few days….in Wigan, England before the annual ‘World Pie Eating championships’,  a meat pie was launched into space to see if the effects of space would make it easier to eat.    The pie was attached to a weather balloon, and reached almost 100 000 feet.    What is nice is that the launch site was outside a local pub in Wigan.   The makers of the pie were happy to see their pies tested in space, and the ‘experiment’ was monitored using a camera attached to the balloon.    During the World Pie Eating championships in 2007, the competition was almost ruined when a dog belonging to one of the competitors ate 20 pies and damaged another 10 pies before the competition started, thus leaving the competion short of pies.

The view from Floyen in Bergen, Norway for the photo today…

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and another photo….again from Norway but this time Hjorundfjord.

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A modern day folly, and at a cost of 285 million GBP

Thought for the day….” Do not look back, you are not going that way”

“Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving”  (Albert Einstein).

The island of St. Helena is probably most famous with stamp collectors.   The tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean lies about 1950km west of the African coastline.   The population is about 4500 people, which makes the spending of 285 MILLION British pounds on a new airport rather surprising.   St Helena is a British territory but the spending of such a large amount of money was done without sufficient surveys.  The runway is subject to turbulent winds and wind shear, and operations have been judged to be dangerous.   So despite spending a huge amount, only 18 aircraft have been able to land there due to the turbulent wind condtions and wind shear.      So the British government is left with a huge bill for an airport that is considered too dangerous to fly into.   But what will happen to the officials who ordered the building of this white elephant?   I can guess.  Zero.   A modern day folly.

A photo from the South Island of New Zealand, and the state highway 8 over the Lindis Pass.   At this point the road climbs to 971m before dropping down to the Ahuriri or Lindis Valleys.   The special long, spiny grass which grows in this area is known as tussock grass (see lower right of the photo).

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and another photo from the archives….legs plus.  The legs on the far left are real.

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Dealing with morons

Thought for the day….” Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”.

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but do not tell you what to see

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I love technology.  I really do.  I was keen to install the new mCash mobile phone app so that I could pay electronically using my mobile phone.   mCash is offered by a Norwegian bank, Sparebank1 so you would think that they would be ok with technology.  Wrong.   I ran into a problem from the start….despite having Sweden listed on the menus of the app, it would not send sms to a Swedish mobile number.    So of course I contacted the mCash helpline but they are claiming that they cannot send messages (sms) to a Swedish phone.   Despite asking them many times, they have been unable (or unwilling) to say why they cannot send a sms.  What is even more surprising is that the same morons who set the mCash system up actually put Sweden as an option on the menus.    And when you contact these people, who work in i.t (information technology) then you are left wondering how these morons actually got the job.   So the people working in I.T are unable to explain or fix the simple challenge.   I can send a sms to anywhere in the world, but the morons at mCash are either unwilling or incapable of doing this.  And they are employed to work in I.T.

And why does any app like this demand access to ALL my contacts on my phone, and why does a payment app demand control over things like the flashlight on my phone?   Very interesting to see the sort of permissions that apps like these demand.   Needless to say, the app has been uninstalled.   But I wonder how the morons at mCash keep their job.  And how did they get their jobs in the first place?

Two photos of a sunrise at Riverton, in the far south of New Zealand……both taken on the same morning

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and another photo from the archives….a simple photo that tells a story….

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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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Both from Bergen, buildings & bridges

Thought for the day…”It is better to walk alone than walk with a crowd going in the wrong direction”.

“You cannot hang out with negative people and expect a positive life”.

Winter is a great time to sit inside and sort out the thousands of photos.   In the last century, in the days of 35mm film, you were very careful before you took a photo because you only had 24 or 36 exposures on each film (38 if you were very lucky when you put the film in).    Now, with cameras that will take 8 or 10 photos a second, then sorting photos has become a mammoth task.   Before, you sent the film away for processing, and the shop did all the work for you, whereas now you have to download the photos, label them and file them yourself, as well as editing them.  One great advantage of the Fuji system is that the jpegs straight out of the camera are SO good, which means that much less editing is needed.    Still got FAR too many photos though, but at least I am spending much less time on editing now.    Two photos from the city centre in Bergen, Norway, both taken earlier this year with the Fuji X-T10 camera and standard 18-55mm kit lens.

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Pondering the moment, or a moment of reflection?

Thought for the day…” Failure is success if we learn from it”  (Malcolm Forbes).

“About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends”

I am having a hard time trying to decide about video.    Often I carry with THREE cameras, the Fuji X-T10, a GoPro action camera and also a Panasonic video camera.   Not only does that take some managing (only two hands !) but it also needs organizing with chargers (all are different of course, nothing standard) and batteries (again, all different sizes, and all needing their own chargers).   So at the moment I am trying to decide if I should concentrate on still photography, or continue to try the occasional video as well.  Video editing takes a lot of time, and if it is 4K then a lot of computer time too.    Videos need you to use a tripod as well, which means more to carry and even more to set up.    One of the great advantages of the mirrorless camera system is their smaller size.    But I am wondering if I am losing all this by carrying 3 cameras, battery charges, tripod etc.    A good still picture is powerful, and says a lot.  Video is great if it is done properly, but the question at the moment is, are three cameras etc. too much to conveniently manage?.   And it would be nice to have a drone/quadcopter as well, although the recent law changes in Sweden effectively banning photography from drones might end that plan.   Photography should be an enjoyable hobby, but I do not want to start carrying so much equipment that it becomes more like a NatGeo filming trip.  Perhaps it is better to concentrate on still photography only??

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and another photo from the archives…fireworks over Bergen, Norway last year.

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Squeeze more in – more cuts in standards at the airlines.

Thought for the day…”The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

“Some people are like clouds.  When they go away, it is a brighter day”.

Back on one of my favourite topics..airlines.  I see in the news that British Airways (BA) have become the latest airline to increase the number of seats in its aircraft.  The Boeing 777 will go to 10-across seating (currently 9) and the total number of seats will go up from 280 to 332.  The Airbus A320 will have more seats, up from 168 today to 180, and the Airbus A321 will go from 205 today to a new high of 218 seats.    So BA has also chosen 10 across seating for the 777.  And to make matters even worse, they are removing 2 or 3 toilets from economy class as well.  More passengers but fewer toilets.   Since SWISS airlines also introduced 10-across seating on the 777s, then I have avoided them, as the reports online about airlines who use 10 across seating have been far from positive.    Not only are passengers being squeezed width-wise, but also leg-wise as well.   Lufthansa’s new Airbus aircraft will actually have LESS leg room than Ryanair, and again the intial reports from passengers have been negative. And more of the legacy airlines are introducing charges for food onboard (eg. BA from January) as well as charges for checked-in baggage.    All this begs the question, why pay more to fly with the legacy airlines when the service levels are less?

Today’s photo comes from northern Norway.  Honningsvag in wonderful autumn light…..

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and another photo from the archives….landing at Funchal, Madeira……

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Ebay email address – where is it?

Thought for the day…” Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement”.

“Success with negative attitude is called luck.  Success with positive attitude is called achievement”.

Have you ever tried to contact Customer ‘service’ at Ebay?   If so, then you will be as frustrated as I am.  Ebay makes it VERY difficult to contact them.    Yes, there is a ‘help & contact’ section, but this will merely lead you to suggested answers.   But try and find an email address for Ebay and you will get very annoyed.  They have made it deliberately difficult for you to contact them.    I merely wanted to contact Ebay to ask about a refund, but they do not publish an email address.  How crazy is that??   What reputable company does not want you to contact them???     Either way it has taught me a lesson.   If they are not prepared to publish and email address or put an online form for you to use, then they do not deserve trade.   It seems to be a trend with many companies now, making it very difficult or impossible for you to contact them by email.  They are happy enough to take your money, and make it very easy to pay, but when you want to contact them, that is a different matter.    Good customer service can actually be profitable for a company, whereas bad customer service actually drives customers away.     So why does Ebay make it so difficult to contact them by email???

One advantage of autumn is that it is a good time to go through the photo collection.  Here is one photo that I have converted to black & white….shadows from the railings on a bridge.

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and another photo from the archives…Afghani street traders….

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Oslo city centre – not pleasant

Thought for the day…”Postive anything is better than negative nothing”

“If your ship does not come in, then swim out to it”.

The Norwegian capital, Oslo, becomes even more unpleasant to walk around.   It seems that in the very centre of the city, that drug dealers can openly sell drugs, and drug users can wait around, apparently without the police doing anything.   As soon as you come out of the main train or bus stations then you see it.    The newspapers were reporting that the Norwegian police said that they had lost control of one area (Gronland), and the situation seems to be getting worse.    Go for a walk early morning and you may see used syringes on the ground.   Walk around after dark (not recommended) and you will see drug dealers openly selling.    It is very clear who the drug users are, but they seem to be immune to action.    Add to that the large number of begging gypsies in the city and Oslo has become an unpleasant and dirty place.  But why are the police not doing anything??  Surely the use of hard drugs must be illegal in Norway, but these people apparently get away with it, and openly too.   And all the begging gypsies apparently do not have any legal right to stay in Norway, so why are they allowed to remain?    What are the police doing about it?   I wonder.

Today’s photo comes from north Norway, and from the fishing village of Honningsvag.

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and another photo from the archives….the same photo as in the previous post, but this time converted to black & white.

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