Archive | October 2012

Rome Reports TV Again Cites ‘Anura Guruge’ For Pope Statistics On Oct. 30, 2012. Second Time In 4 Months.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Alton, NH Once Again Becomes ‘Consistory Central’ For The World — Oct 28, 2012.

>> Rome Reports (Vatican TV) Cites Me AGAIN For Papal Statistics; 2nd Time In 6 Months — July 25, 2012


Click image to access ‘Rome Reports’ coverage.


I know I should appear to be blasé about this,
but I still get a kick when Rome,
with all of the resources at their disposal,

relies on a guy in Alton, NH, who works from his house,
out in the sticks,

for the now and most up to date definitive statistics on popes.

My actual post at ‘Popes and Papacy’:

Oldest pope by Anura Guruge in popes and papacy.

Click to access the full post at Anura Guruge’s ‘Popes and Papacy’.

TDS Broadband (Data) Internet Service Down (Outage) For 22 Hours!


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ TDS Broadband (Fiber) Internet: Long Outage Last Night In The Lakes Region, NH — Oct. 17, 2012.
2/ Talk About Absurd. TDS Is Making Me Pay $6.89 Tax For A Telephone Line I Do NOT HAVE! — Oct. 4, 2012.

3/ Hurricane Sandy: We Dodged, To My Relief, Round 1 On Monday. Round 2 Tomorrow & Thursday — Oct. 30, 2012.


Click to access this page at TDS. Their phone number: 1-888-Call TDS.


We, in Alton, NH, lost TDS Internet (broadband data) service at 3 pm (Eastern) yesterday, Tuesday, Oct. 30, and just got it back at 1pm (Eastern) today. So it was down for 22 hours.

Yes, I fully expected that we would have some outages due to Sandy, and we did have at least one outage on Monday night as was to be expected.

I also do not have a problem that we lost service yesterday. I fully appreciate the disruptions, further south, caused by Sandy.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever, in the year 2012, for an Internet outage to last for 22 hours! I do know what I am talking about here. I was in highest level of corporate networking for 35 years. Google me. I do know a fair amount about the Internet, IP routing and network design. The whole basis of the Internet is that of an INTERCONNECTED MESH of computers with alternate and redundant paths. Sure, you lose a chunk of the network in NY — the network should still be able to route around that via VT and points West. That TDS could not do this is a tremendous INDICTMENT of their backbone network. Sure, we should have been down for 4-6 hours. I would not have said anything. 22 hours. That is crazy.


Found this from TDS tonight. Claims alternate path failed too!

What is strange though is the bulletin above posted earlier in the day. Says only 4 locations in NH down: Contoocook, Wilson, Alton and New London. Strange mix. Very strange.

Just for the record we have a BUSINESS service from TDS and have two separate fiber broadband lines for more bandwidth and redundancy.

Hurricane Sandy: Alton Central School (ACS) Closing & Lack Of Phone Notification


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Hurricane Sandy: We Dodged, To My Relief, Round 1 On Monday. Round 2 Tomorrow & Thursday — Oct. 30, 2012.


Alton Central School (ACS) closed for the day on Monday, October 29, ahead of Sandy.

Given that the safety of the kids is the #1, #2 & #3 priority of all concerned, I have NO problem with that. That was fine, though the heavy rain and winds didn’t kick in till about 4pm Monday.

I assume that the decision was made by the new Superintendent. IF SO, I hope he is as diligent about school closing and delayed start when we have SNOW.

We live off Prospect Mountain Road, and the school bus that serves us has to go down Water Street and up Muchado.

I have seen the school bus go down Water St. SIDEWAYS, more than once — with no traction and obviously no control, despite the automated chains! Yes, the bus has got stuck in snow on Muchado.

But, at least in the past, there was a cavalier attitude about ‘snow days’ — the excuse being that they would have to make it up in June. So, we also then get the ‘delayed start’ and ‘early release’ game play — because those don’t count as ‘snow days’. My point is simple, IF they closed yesterday, can we also CLOSE when we have snow so that I don’t have to watch the school bus go down Water Street SIDEWAYS? Though I am a fairly hardy person, and nothing much phases me, seeing a school bus sliding down a hill is not a pleasant sight. Yes, we did call up and complain.


We did not receive any telephone notification on Sunday that ACS was to be closed Monday.

Last school year, we would get 3 phone calls (house line, my cell, Deanna’s cell) every time somebody sneezed at ACS — with the phone calls always timed to perfect for 7pm.

On Sunday there were no calls.

Deanna just happened to check her e-mail late Sunday night. Usually I too get an e-mail, but I must be black-listed, or at least brown-listed, because I write posts such as these. C’est la vie.

Monday night Deanna called the school to see if there was a message about Tuesday. NADA.

Kind of strange all together. Yes, Deanna called and talked to somebody about it today.

Hurricane Sandy: We Dodged, To My Relief, Round 1 On Monday. Round 2 Tomorrow & Thursday.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Weather forecast for Alton, NH from the fairly reliable ‘wunderground.com’. Click to access.


Yes, we got a lot of rain. Not sure how much. Deanna and Devanee say that our rain gauge, that was supposedly emptied prior to Sandy, says 4″ to 4.4″. That is respectable.

Yes, we had lots of wind gusts. Some pretty spectacular. The trees were bending, but nothing like they did when we had the tornado in 2009.

The lights flickered from noon till 11pm.

BUT, we didn’t lose power. I am in shock. We usually lose power IF a butterfly flaps it wings too hard! I was all set to lose power. Gassed up the two generators and moved them up to the front of the garage so that I wouldn’t have to move the van, as I usually have to do, to get them out. Even checked the oil and topped it up. Since I take care of the generator for my 80-year old neighbor, Jeannine, I even went and plugged her ‘self-start’ battery-in so that it would be fully charged. She has a fancy, orange Genrac. Start it with a key. If the battery is charged it is a joy to operate. Mine are much more low tech. Next time around I will get a big, wired-in Genrac.

Thank YOU PSNH. Take a bow. You did good.

The lights flickered from 1pm till 11:20pm. That drove me nuts. I try not to let too many things get under my skin, but I realized yesterday that flickering lights get under my skin. Part of it was that I was waiting for the power to go down. Though I have a big ‘uninterrupted power supply’ (UPS) on my main PC, I decided to close down shop around 4:20. Had one BIG post to do with the pope becoming the 5th oldest pope, as of 1400, to post before I gave up for the day.

We didn’t have Internet around 8pm. Deanna and the kids tried to see whether Alton Central School (ACS) was to be open Tuesday. They had no Internet. I wasn’t too phased. I expected that TDS would have some routing issues with the disruption in New York City. This morning I checked my TDS bandwidth (using my usual ‘speedtest.net‘). Perfect. Thank YOU, TDS.

But, I know that Sandy is revisiting us, this time from the North. The winds and rain should be less, but …

That will probably be Wednesday night and Thursday. As far as I know Alton is still having Halloween Night on Wednesday, 4:00 pm till ‘dark’; i.e., 5 or 5:30pm.

Alton Central School Pumpkin Decorating Contest. Deanna sent me this flyer and told me to post. So here. Click to ENLARGE.

I will keep you posted.

Meredith ‘Trick or Eat’ (Got Lunch) Sunday October 28, 2012 Was A RESOUNDING Success. Thank YOU.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Click on pictures to ENLARGE them to full-size.

Best $10 I Have Spent In 2012, Maybe In A Longtime.

Overall a great experience. Lot of fun.
Showcased Meredith to perfection.

Thank YOU. You folks did Great. Take a Bow.

It was Goldilocks weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right. Perfect for a walking tour of Meredith. They could not have asked for better.

So here is one thing. Me being who I am, I inquired from multiple ‘officials’ what their plan would have been if it was bucketing down with rain. They had none! They left it to chance. That was a bit unsettling. Maybe they will have some contingency plans next year.

Deanna had called up and booked more or less as soon as we read about it in the Laconia Daily Sun. So we were on the 2pm tour. The 1st tour of the day, the 1st tour of the event, the 1st Meredith ‘Trick or Eat’ tour ever. So, they impressed upon the 30 of us, on that 1st tour, that we were on the inaugural tour. That was nice.

Something else. I did not see a laptop insight. They had all the registrations written down on a piece of paper. Typical NH. Shades of the Keene Pumpkin Festival. Exploiting some decades old technology, an old laptop with Excel 2003, is not a cardinal sin. So maybe we might see some technology next year. They also had a very compelling, one sheet color program with a very cute, hand drawn map of Meredith. I liked the map very much. But, they had NO Web presence. Yes, there was two mentions in the program as to who created that map. Yes, I went and checked them out. But, I am NOT going to give them a plug because they let the side down by not creating a Web presence, just pushing their URL. Sorry. I am a hard taskmaster. Yes, I could scan the map and show it to you, but I won’t. Sorry.

From what I heard they had 260 pre-registrations. That is great. I saw some walkins. So they probably had 300 or more.

We had 5 Meredith History stops with ladies in period costumes acting out roles. Nice costumes. Sometimes difficult to hear. Would have been nice if they had some amplification. I learnt some. I knew about 45% of it. There was just a tad too much duplication. So they should coordinate their stories next year. Plus, do MORE about Bob Montana. He is famous and the kids will love the Archie stuff.

Our tour guide, a ‘Home/Building Inspector’. She was very nice. Full of energy. A firecracker. I was remiss. Never got her name. That is the ‘New Horizon Band’. Good elevator music. That was fine.

Me as ever checking the scene, at the Chase House, prior to the tour. No idea who that goblin in the picture is. It was Halloween.

The 10 ‘Eats’ and What We Thought About The Grub:

1. Lago.
OK. Nothing special. Did NOT do themselves proud.

Their ‘Frutti Di Mare(fruits of the sea) seafood ‘gumbo’ with Shrimp, mussels, calamari, little neck clams and fish fillets in fennel-infused tomato broth (but sans the Garlic toasted ciabatta). This is one of their menu items and they charge $22. I don’t think there was any calamari in what we got. It was OK. Did not knock my socks off. I thought it was way too salty (even for a seafood dish). If I had paid $22 for a dish of this, I probably would have choked. I then remembered that I had gone off Lago 8-9 years ago. Don;t get me wrong. In general we are BIG FANS of Alex Ray’s Common Man Restaurants. But, Lago is atypical. Too pretentious; for the upscale tourist. That is fine. I haven’t gone there in 8 years. I much preferred what used to be there before the Lago. That was fun. Had a the best ‘Electric Lemonade’ in the Summer. I lived EXACTLY a mile away, by water, on Mile Point. So I know. [Yes, we know Alex.]

2. Lakeside Deli.
BRILLIANT. Bravo. Out did themselves. Wow. Wow. Wow. THANK YOU.

Turkey Gobblers! Thanksgiving on toast. Turkey, stuffing and cranberry between two slices of toast. It was irresistible. Devanee and I went back for more and then the owner came out and gave us a 3rd piece.

Right through the tour I heard people raving about the Turkey Gobblers. These are ‘new’ owners. I used to ‘frequent’ the place when I lived in Meredith. Now we will go back. This was good PR for the Deli.

3. George’s Diner.
Good, as ever, which is their calling card. Did themselves well. It is WYSIWYG dining with them. Straightforward, decent grub.

Chili and Apple crisp. Both good. Kids liked it.

4. Mame’s.
Very good. Did themselves proud. Bravo. Owner John Cook (which is a great name other than the fact that he is also a commercial pilot) did ALL of the serving and clearing up. Nice touch. Many would not know that this was the legendary John Cook. I just asked him whether he was still flying. He was. He didn’t recognize me. I am 10 years older and haven’t weathered well. Very nice guy. After our visit today, Deanna wants to go there for their Thanksgiving Brunch — as that will be our 10th anniversary of meeting! For Deanna to pick it says tons. I used to visit quite often — again when I lived in Meredith and Gilford. Looks like John has won us back.

Pumpkin Ravioli. Exquisite.

5. Sunshine and Pa’s.
OK. They had 3 options: chili, corn chowder and clam chowder. I had the latter. It was tasteless and cold! Deanna had the corn chowder and liked it. They served small flat breads. Nice folks. Not my cup of tea. Not somewhere I would go to eat. But, seems like a nice place.

6. Giuseppe’s.
Hhhhmmm. Good job we love the joint! They didn’t, in our opinion, do themselves justice. Not any of their signature dishes or pizzas. Just some easy-to-forget mediocre pizza! But, they provided much needed water. That was good. The water was good, very good.

Pizza and water, and by now the water was very WELCOME.

7. Meredith Village Pizza.
Pity that it was pizza back-to-back. This pizza was pretty awful! Enough said. If we want pizza in Meredith we would go, without hesitation, to Giuseppe’s.

8. Phu Jee Chinese.
OK. Not their best, as with Giuseppe’s. These folks, at least when I used to frequent the joint (when I lived on Mile Point, 1996 to 1999), had top notch Chinese. Today’s was passable. I had thought that they had redone the interior. What a shame. The inside continues to be claustrophobic. Somebody needs to help them.

Crab Rangoon and a piece of General Gau/Orange Chicken. Lady next to me wouldn’t eat it. Gave it to me.

9. Frog Rock Tavern.
What were they thinking? They screwed up! I heard people muttering about it for the next 5 minutes.

SPICY Rangoon — cut in half. Kids wouldn’t touch it. Was way too spicy for many. It was fine with me, but it was a ‘nothing’ experience.

10. Kara’s Cafe and Cakery.
It was OK, I think. Didn’t ‘wow’ me in the slightest. Kind of sad. The last two stops of the tour were anti-climactic. Shame.

Pumpkin whoopee pie and a small, whipped drink. I wasn’t thrilled, BUT that the kids didn’t eat theirs tells a tale.

So, that was the tour. On the whole a GREAT success. Wish we could do something like this in Alton — but we only have three and a half restaurants, and one is the McDonald’s!

Thank you organizers. Thank you the eateries. It was a good cause.

The best part of Lago, the Botticelli imitation definitely enhances the time spent in there. Thanks Alex. Nice touch, as with all your restrooms. I miss the Italian lessons at the Farmhouse.

Another nude at Giuseppe’s. Not as nice as the one above the bar. See my prior post of Giuseppe’s which does show that picture. Kids kept on asking me who it was. I have no idea. Not even sure who painted it. It could be a Hodecker. He likes nudes.

There Is Now A FireFox 16.0.2 BUT I Have Not Installed. Worried What It Will Do.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Click to access Mozilla FireFox release note page.


After nearly a decade of being a beta tester and a recipient of AUTOMATED FireFox updates, just 2 days ago I changed my preferences in FireFox ‘options’ so that I get notified of updates, but they are not automatically installed.

So, a few minutes ago I got a notification that FF 16.0.2 was available — which is not a surprise given what a disaster 16.0.1 has proved to be. I am going to be cautious. I will wait to read reaction on the Web BEFORE I do the deed.

So, this is a heads up to you all. PLEASE share your experiences with FireFox 16.0.2, hopefully ALL GOOD, with us. I will post them for you.

Thank you. Cheers, Anura.

Derek McDonald Of VT, Our Summer Organizer at ‘Obama for America’, In Laconia, A Young Man With A Great Future.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
1/ We Met With Dr. Jill Biden, The V.P. Joe’s Wife, In Laconia, NH This Evening  — Oct. 26, 2012.
2/ Lisa DiMartino, NH State Rep. (Gilford & Meredith) With Dr. Jill Biden In Laconia, NH — Oct. 26, 2012.


He is a student, in Vt., who took a semester off to work for Obama. He is one of the two ‘coordinators’ at the Laconia, NH office — and my ‘handler’. He is a couple of years older than my son.

Yesterday, when he spoke ahead of Dr. Jill Biden he cut an impressive figure. Very confident and poised. I was very impressed and proud. His mother had driven 3 hours to be there. A 2nd trip to NH that week. It was well worth her drive. Derek should go far. He made the statement that he feels that the government has made an investment IN HIM! How TRUE and what a great investment! Bravo.


Derek McDonald Summer Organizer at Obama for America in Laconia ahead of Dr. Jill Biden

Derek McDonald, Summer Organizer at ‘Obama for America’, one of two coordinators at the Laconia, NH Obama office addressing the crowds ahead of Dr. Jill Biden’s appearance yesterday evening. CLICK to ENLARGE to full-size.

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