New cameraphone, empty airport


Here are the first pictures from my new Blackjack camera phone. It’s no D70, but it fits a lot better in my front pocket so I always have it with me.

First, a few from the Bay area earlier this week …

And here are a few from Sea-Tac this evening …

Man, I haven’t been to an airport that was this uncrowded in quite a while. It’s nice. I went to the counter and walked right up to a British Airways ticket agent with nobody in line. I only stopped moving once going through security, when they checked my ID. I had a whole train car to myself, and an empty one behind for good measure. I arrived at the business lounge in the south satellite, and the same young woman who had checked me in was working the counter. She just smiled and said “hi again!” and held her hand out to motion me into the lounge.

What service. I think she must have been further back on my train and somehow beat me upstairs. I did dawdle a bit to snap the pictures above. But not more than a minute or two.

One thing I don’t like about lounges in our country is they have people who serve you drinks, since Americans apparently can’t be trusted to pour from communal bottles like people do in the lounges in all those other countries. The drink itself is free, but we Americans are so conditioned to tipping that you’re left wondering whether you should tip when they bring a drink, especially when they are as aggressive about serving you as this kid is. Oh well, if I get another Glenlivet and leave him a buck they’re down to a quarter apiece. Such a deal.

Next stop London, then on to Delhi …



  1. Hi Nick, I just arrived in my room in Delhi.

    So the much-talked about British Airways flights were underwhelming. That “Club World” configuration with seats alternating directions (the person next to you is facing the opposite direction) sounds good in theory, but it causes all kinds of clumsiness. For example, when you put up the privacy shade between the two seats (which you must do unless you enjoy gazing into your neighbor’s eyes for 9 hours), then the overhead light doesn’t hit your own space at all, since you’re behind the shade. And the cute little drink shelf hangs at an angle when it’s loaded with a drink, which is precarious. I think this is a version-1.0 concept; in Redmond, we know how this works.

    And the British Airways in-flight service was hilarious. It was like a Monthy Python skit, and exactly the same on both flights (Seattle-London and London-Delhi). They’d come scurrying down the aisle, doing everything at warp speed as if to convey how incredibly great the service is, and they were so frantic and clumsy it was entertaining. I had a pile of plastic lids dumped in my lap, and across the cabin they knocked a pile of plates off a cart — first time I’ve seen dishes broken on any flight, actually. The way they stuffed bread baskets in your face, or frantically refilled glasses, spilling almost every time. Great stuff, if not great service.

    And now I’m back at the Taj Mahal Hotel. This place rocks. I forgot to arrange a car, but one phone call and within a couple minutes I had a guy in a suit carrying my bags out to a fancy car, for a complimentary drive to the hotel. They must have called ahead, because a cute young woman in a purple sari met me at the curb and walked me straight to my waiting room. They already had all the paperwork filled out, and I just had to sign and we were done. A minute later, a guy brought me a pot of coffee and some fresh cookies (it’s early morning here), which I’m enjoying while typing this, looking out my window at the great view of the Presidential Palace.

    Megan, this hotel is on our list.

  2. Yeah, Thomas, it’s not as bad as the previous cell phone but it’s no SLR, that’s for sure. The D70 is loaded for today’s activities in Delhi … stay tuned. 🙂

  3. The shots from the phone aren’t of great quality compared to the D70, of course, but they sure beat hell out of a lot of other phone-based cameras I’ve seen (my Treo, for example, which still takes a good enough shot in good light for quick blog posts). Seems almost like a fun challenge to take shots that are specifically designed for the limitations and idiosyncrasies of that camera. Like these guys who go around taking great shots with pinhole cameras or Brownies.

  4. Doug, I didn’t mean to offend you. My phone camera is even worse (QTEK8500). And I yet have to get a digital SLR… My analog SLRs lie there unused but I am still waiting for the right replacements.
    For some years I preferred an early 1.3 mpixel to the heavy SLR system although the results were less than adequate but it was so convenient.

  5. Hey Thomas, no offense taken. The slow shutter speed on that thing is annoying, and I’ve already had several times I thought I’d use it to grab a shot of something but the resulting photo was unusably blurry. It’s fine for bright sunlight, but in those situations it’s usuall easy to have the D70 around — I wish this were better for indoors, where I might have it in my pocket at any time.

    Tomorrow I’ll be in Washington DC, and I’m hoping to get a chance to post some photos then, unless I get a chance to post a few this morning. It’s a very hectic schedule this week, but after three more days I’m spending a month at home!

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