Nikon D4 + Nikkor 200mm f/2 — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
at the Enkoji Temple (円光寺), Kyoto Japan
I've been feeling remarkably lazy about writing lately, sorry.
My wife and I were in a travel agency the other day (here in Kyoto, Japan) to purchase some pricey tickets for some upcoming family travel, and since it was a lot to put on the credit card at once, I had called ahead to my US-based credit card to let them know the charge was coming so that it would go through smoothly.
Of course, while standing there at the travel agency office, the transaction was denied. Sigh.
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/800 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
at the Miho Museum (ミホミュージアム) near Kyoto
I couldn't call The States with the travel agent's phone, so we were facing the prospect of having to bicycle back home to make the call to the credit card company (again), then head back to the travel agency (again) to try the transaction (again). What a pain.
But before leaving the travel agency, I had an idea. I had installed the Skype app on my iPhone years ago but had never used it. I do that a lot... I've never launched most of the apps that I have on the thing. (I mostly don't even remember what I've put on there most of the time.) Anyway, it was on my mind because I've heard good things about Skype's quality for app-to-landline calls from Paul Barr who uses it to chat Stateside while he's in Japan. The calls are not free, but they're cheap enough not to matter, but you do have to fund your account with some money to use it... or so I thought.
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
Picture I took of some chick taking a pic of some guy taking a pic of some leaves.
(at the Nishi Hongwanji Temple (西本願寺), Kyoto Japan)
I hadn't given Skype any money, but on a whim I gave the Skype app a try and dialed the toll-free number shown on the back of my credit card, and voilà, I was talking to my credit-card company as if they were sitting next to me. It was amazing.
I guess toll-free numbers are supported as such (without toll) by Skype. Very, very nice. I encouraged the credit card company to acquire a clue, the travel agent retried the card while the company was still on the line, and all went well.
It saved my afternoon. Thank you Skype, and thank you Microsoft for not screwing them up when you bought them.
I've since funded my account with $10 just in case I ever have to use it to call a non-toll-free number. US calls go at a the not-worth-thinking-about rate of about a buck an hour, so practically speaking I'll probably never use that $10, but it's cheap peace of mind.
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 200mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
at the Enkoji Temple (円光寺)
These photos have nothing to do with the article... they're just some recent photos from among the huge backlog my laziness has prevented me from dealing with.
And no, I did not place the yellow leaf on the small statue's head in
the lead photo.
(I saw someone else do it and took the opportunity to snap a picture )
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/640 sec, f/3.2, ISO 100 — map & image data — nearby photos
the latter from an early-morning leaf-burning fire
at the Tenjin Shrine (天神神社) in Koka, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
(not far from the Miho Museum)