Archive | January 2013

Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove, Manchester, NH, Verizon Arena, January 30, 2013. We Went. It Was Fun. Some Pictures.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove … — Jan. 16, 2013.
>> Ringling Brothers ‘Fully Charged’ Circus … — Sep. 30, 2012.


DisneyThankYou2013


Click to ENLARGE.

All the pictures by Deanna with her new Panasonic ZS20 (without flash).



I will admit it. It exceeded my expectations, but I hadn’t set the bar very high. But, lets face it, I was far from the target audience. The kids were mesmerized, tantalized and given a magical carpet ride, both figuratively and literally. What more can you ask. Yes, it was good. It was fun. It was slick. It was Disney with a Feld twist (see the top, very cute, thank you e-mail from them). Feld’s are who do the ‘Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey‘ circus, in Manchester, that we go to each year, without fail. Given our familiarity with the circus, we could see the similarities. But, that is OK. The Feld’s try hard.

The show was choreographed to the minute. 40 minute first half, 1 hour second half. Started at 7, finished, on the nose at 9. Not counting the Disney key character cameos, they did 8 or 9 Disney shows: Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lion King, Snow White, Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Tangled, Super Heroes etc. Alice, Peter Pan, Toy Story and Aladdin were long, featured segments. The others were shorter. The Lion King dramatization with costumes was brilliant, pure Geld circus. It was good. I particularly liked the lighted lanterns from Tangled. That was a nice touch. That was my favorite.

That we paid $15 seat, not counting the 57% markup by the despicable TicketMaster, made it even better. We had reasonable seats, but not together. Teischan had a ‘B’ row seat. So 2nd row OFF the ice. I think it was too close. But she loved it. Deanna sat directly behind her in ‘C’ and I sat in ‘D’. Devanee sat in ‘F’, and though she acted as if she was not amused, liked the show. She probably had the best seat, given the banking.



A Few Random Observations & Comments:
>> They started the show by TRYING to get the audience to get up and do some warm up exercises. They, with the help of the Super Heroes, were stressing the importance of exercise. That was good. I was impressed. That only 25% of the audience stood up, as urged, to swing a leg reminded me that this was NH. No, I didn’t bother to get up. But, I had slogged up Prospect Mountain for my 2.25 mile run before the show. But, here is what spoiled it all. The male Master of Ceremonies that they had, introducing this exercise segment, dressed in a tight black sweat shirt, looked like he was 13 months pregnant! Talk about setting a bad example. Reminded me, at once, about Destination Imagination NH and going to their meets. All these good people stand up and extol the kids of numerous uplifting virtues, but many of them look as if they are wearing fat suits to appear funny.

>> Every time I go to the Verizon I am struck by what a big problem we have in NH, especially in the Winter, with OBESITY. I was just looking at the men, acutely aware that I still need to lose 15 pounds — having already lost 5 pounds since last week. [Deanna admitted that she hates me!] What can I say. I asked my friend, ‘my brain‘, to help. So many of the men are grotesquely obese! This is not good.

>> They were advertising event parking at $10, $15 and $25! It was a 7pm show. I didn’t appreciate it, but the meters near the Verizon, during the week, are 8am to 8pm. But, they are only 75 cents an hour, two hour max. So even at 6pm you could get a ticket valid till 8pm for $1.50. After 8pm it is free! I guess people don’t know the parking situation around the arena. That is a pity.

>> The economy has to be good in NH. People were spending money on food, drinks, cotton candy and the toys like there was no tomorrow. That is good. Good for the economy. I was pleased. We didn’t buy anything in the arena (for a change). The kids are getting better. They now realize that the LED Mohawk headgear you buy for $20 at the Verizon is available in the mall for $2.

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: Phone Notification System — THE CRITICAL CHANGE.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> ACS Phone Notification System Fails AGAIN — Jan. 30, 2013.


Kudos and thanks for Alton School Board Member,
Steve Miller,

for helping me pursue this issue.


Thank you for Lynn Whitehouse of ACS
who called me this morning

and patiently explaining how the system works.
Lynn is always good.


I have cracked the code.

Thanks to Lynn I now know that ACS make a distinction between ‘emergencies‘ and closing/delays. That makes all the difference.

‘Emergencies’, which could include notification of the cancellation of afternoon, after-school programs, result in phone calls going out to ALL listed phone numbers — plus e-mail. That would explain why this Monday we got 3 phone calls and two e-mails.

School cancellations and delays don’t count as emergencies. So only ONE call per family is made; to the phone number they have at the top of the list. So, that explains why the cell phones didn’t ring yesterday.

But, here is the issue. Deanna, who stays on top of this stuff, was NOT aware that delays/cancellations ONLY go to one phone numbers. She also assures me that others had the same problem yesterday.

So, here is the ISSUE as I see it now, thanks to Lynn.

Parents need to know that delays/cancellations ONLY go to one phone number — and THEY need to make sure it is the right one.

With luck, Deanna with her magic on Facebook, will determine how many other mothers knew of this little wrinkle. It is pretty clear to me. I had our list juggled around so that Deanna’s cell is now at the top of the list.

So, just a heads up.

Again, many thanks to Steve and Lynn.

I Just Stormed Out Of The Alton Vets. Never Going Back There Again! My Time Is Valuable TOO.

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Anura Guruge


We had a 11:30 appointment to get some shots for Maya.

We got there on time. There were two people ahead of us, which is par for the course. When we checked in, and I think we know the receptionist, there was no mention of any delays.

Noon comes along. There is still one person ahead of us. In between I had sprinted to the library and back to get a paper.

12:05 comes along. Still nothing. Yes, you can see him levitating around.

That was it. This has happened before and OF COURSE all doctors and other professionals like to play this waiting game. Yes, it is part of their ‘I am so much more important than you’ game.

Well screw that. The Alton vet does this all the time — at least in our case, and I fully appreciate that I am at the very bottom of the Totem Pole around here.

Don’t give me any mitigation like ‘oh, he has to deal with emergencies‘. We have had emergencies including a dying puppy. We were told when we could come in, and all of that around the 3 hour daily siesta he takes. And, that, of course is his prerogative. [They have our phone numbers. They could have called us. No. He thinks he has right, which he very well might.]

All I can do is to stop going there. Which is what I am going to do. Yes, I know he doesn’t need my business. I am small potatoes and he is richer than God. I know all of that. I even know that he studied at the Vatican.

Yes, I also know that it takes forever to be a vet and that they are one of the most qualified of professionals. I am happy for them. Congratulations. Maybe they should take a refresher course in humility.

OK. I now feel better. Deanna is not happy that I stormed out. She is much more patient, as you would expect, being married to me. But, time is my thing. Wasting time physically hurts me! Yes, of course, my problem. But, my stomach starts going into very painful knots when I feel that I am wasting my time. Which is why I sprinted, and I did sprint for a change, to go and get a paper. At least if I am reading I don’t feel so bad.

Volkswagen’s Super Bowl XLVII ‘Jamaican’ Ad. Is Racist! What I Expect From German Car Makers.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> London Olympics … Distortion Of British History … — July 28, 2012.


Click to access 'The Washington Times' article and video. Video also available on YouTube.

Click to access ‘The Washington Times’ article and video. Video also available on YouTube.


Yes, I know. So many don’t even know about the Berlin 1936 Olympics and the snubbing of U.S. hero Jesse Owens.

I vowed never to buy a German car in 1982 after my first visit to Liverpool, England. You could still see empty blocks from the German bombing 40 years earlier. I have been steadfast. I have never bought one and will openly criticize those that do. Right now there are plenty of U.S., Korean or British alternatives. The new Buicks, Fords, Chryslers and Lincolns look much more compelling to me than a bloody German car. If you want high-end, go Cadillac or Jag. Buy Italian. They were always harmless. They never bombed anyone other than themselves.

This ad. just confirms what I have always known. And I won’t even talk about the time when a bloody German tourist, just jumped into my moored boat at Meredith harbor to get a picture. I treated him to a verbal diatribe, without once using a swear word, that had all those standing on the dock shocked. He ran.

This ad is offensive. Jamaicans rock. Usain Bolt is Jamican. Bob Marley is Jamaican. Michael Holding is Jamican. This ad is pure German.

Do you know that story: ‘No, no maan. My tattoo doesn’t say “Wendy”. You crazy, maan? Mine says: “Welcome to Jamaica and have a nice day”‘.

You do know that story, right? The man from Chicago that has his new wife’s name, ‘Wendy‘, tattooed onto his pecker before going on their honeymoon to Jamaican clothing optional resort and meeting a Jamaican who also had ‘Wy‘ showing on his flaccid pecker. Well, that is the keyword when it comes to German cars: flaccid. [P.S., My father, or more to the point his wife owns a Mercedes, and I tell my father off about that. But, my father isn’t British and he, having grown up under British rule of Ceylon, isn’t (to my amusement), that fond of the British — though my mother, an anglophile, insisted that I had a full British upbringing, cocooned in British books and culture.]


FireFox 18.0.1: ‘Clear History’ Causes A Hang. Clears Cookies Too. Not Good.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Went From FireFox 16.0.1 to FireFox 18.0.1 … — Jan. 27, 2013.


historyclearjan30Between Deanna and I this has happened thrice in the last 5 days. Not good. Happened to Deanna as soon as she had upgraded to FireFox 18.0.1. I also had it happen the first full day that I used 18.0.1.

Then it was fine for 3 or 4 days, and I clear my cache QUITE often, at a minimum last thing ‘at night’ (or more like 1 am) before I shutdown the PC. Then happened again last night.

Have to cancel FireFox from the ‘Task Manager’ to get around the FireFox. FireFox starts again fine and ‘Clear History’ will work again. Have done 4 clears since then without problem. In my case the problem appears to be related to the size of the cache — i.e., 6 or 7 hours in between clears. I can go through 400 pages in 6 or 7 hours! I invariably have 12 tabs open on FireFox, across two instances of FireFox: using a dual monitor configuration. So, yes, I push the limits, but this shouldn’t be an issue. Prior to 18.0.1, I can only remember one ‘Clear History’ hang and that was months ago.

I only clear cookies once a month — mid-month. Part of my regular maintenance schedule. Last night, when it hung, it had cleared my cookies. Not a big deal. Just need to logon to some services.

But, a heads up. I did a Google. Doesn’t look like this is a widespread problem — BUT, then again, how many people clear their history as regularly as I do?

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: Phone Notification System Fails AGAIN.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Hurricane Sandy: ACS … Lack Of Phone Notification — Oct. 30, 2012.
>>
ACS: Post-Connecticut, ‘Enhanced Security’ Meeting … — Dec. 18, 2012.


It has happened AGAIN. Happened in October with the ‘Hurricane Sandy‘ school closing and today with the 2 hour school delay.

This is not acceptable. More than ever, with everything you see on the news, including the school bus hijacking yesterday, parents expect (and hope) that the notification system works.

These problems are new as of this school year. This system has worked immaculately in past years.

So what has changed? Pretty obvious to me.

In life there are things that are easy to fix and things that are not as easy to fix. In the case of ACS, fixing overall security or getting rid of the modulars is not easy. Fixing the notification system is. It should be zero tolerance. The administration should not tolerate incompetence not when safety is an issue.

Deanna tells me that others are upset too, as they should be. Supposedly on the ACS Facebook page.

To me the answer very simple. Lets see if they do anything.


busjan302013

Radio Ceylon: The Radio Station Sir Edmund Hillary Listened To While Making The 1st Known Successful Summit Of Mt. Everest.

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by
Anura Guruge


Two Related posts:
>> Google Doodle For Sri Lanka Independence Day … — Jan. 26, 2012.
>> I Went To A ‘Montessori’, in Ceylon, In 1958 — Aug. 31, 2012.


This is a precursor article to one that I want to write on Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Independence Day on February 4.


The ‘old’ Radio Ceylon building in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember it well. Visited it a few times with my father. Click IF you are interested to read a British-bashing article related to Radio Ceylon.

The ‘old’ Radio Ceylon building in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember it well. Visited it a few times with my adoptive father. Click IF you are interested to read a British-bashing article related to Radio Ceylon.


Note the claim, said boldly, ‘most powerful Commercial Radio Station in Asia’. Quite a claim for a small country, albeit with a big heart. But, this explains the Mount Everest connection. Only English broadcast that reached that far — all the way across India. Click to ENLARGE.


Another confirmation of its transmitting power, its radio waves making it to the U.S.A. in 1959.


Radio Ceylon, originally known as Colombo Radio, is the oldest radio station in Asia.

It was started on an experimental basis, within the Telegraph Department, in 1923.
The original transmitting equipment came from a captured German submarine.
The 1923 inception puts it just 3 years behind the start of radio broadcasting in Europe!

As the above images attest, it claimed to be the most powerful Commercial Radio Station in Asia.

My goal here is just to provide a head’s up on this historic radio station, the only one that I had access to until I got my hands on a shortwave radio when I was about 8.


Over the last few years I have met two young Americans, both with degrees, that had spent 3 months or more in New Zealand, one of them a member of the U.S. Ski Team had gone there to ski. I had asked both of them as to who was the most famous New Zealander. Neither could give me a name. That surprised me. They had never heard of Sir Edmund Hillary, though as far as I know he still appears on their $5 bill. I would have also accepted Richard Hadlee, Glenn Turner or Bev Congdon.


Edmund Hillary, on May 29, 1953, became the first CONFIRMED person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, with and Tenzing Norgay (as he has later stated) a few steps behind. The reason that the first ‘confirmed’ has to be used is that it is possible that the British George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, who both perished on the mountain in 1934 trying to summit, might have succeeded individually or together before their deaths. Edmund and Tenzing were well aware of it and it has never been an issue.

In my mid-20s, i.e., mid-1970s, I was totally fascinated by Mt. Everest. My father tells me that I have seen it, from the air, in 1956 when he took us all on an extended jaunt around India. But, I was only 3. I do remember getting on the first plane from Colombo to India. It is my first real memory. I remember bits, but not Mt. Everest (assuming we actually went that far North, i.e., to the Nepal border). I think I have read every major book, written in English, about Everest. I still have a few Everest books, three of which, one by Edmund, the other by the team leader Colonel Hunt and another about Tenzing, are quite old, and I assume are rare by now.

In my readings I remember reading that Edmund listened to Radio Ceylon while he was camping, atop the mountain, close to the summit. I wanted to make sure I captured that. But, I didn’t have to worry. Somebody else had also made sure that it would be captured and stored on the Web for posterity.

So I can conclude this post. I will refer to it, with luck, in the next few days.

EdmundRC

Gunstock Inn, Gilford, NH, Has Closed, Per The ‘Union Leader’.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Gunstock Inn … To Close Soon …‘The Laconia Daily Sun’
>>Jan. 15, 2013.

>>
Maybe Gunstock Inn Is Still For Sale … Nov. 8, 2012.
>>
Gunstock Inn, Gilford, NH — Sold Again … –  Nov. 1, 2012.


Gunstockshuttered

Click to read ‘Union Leader’ article.


So it has finally happened. I must say that I feel a sense of relief. That poor Inn had to be put out of its misery. The last owners did it no favors. From what I know this was an UPS (yes, United Parcel Service) IPO folly in the 1990s; a guy, from MA, who had worked for UPS for a long time and made a killing on the IPO bought it. His wife ran it while he continued to work for UPS.

In my last post I mentioned the ‘Lazy E Motor Inn’ as a well run Inn with great owners — what Gunstock needs. In the Union Leader article I read that the Lazy E owners are trying to buy Gunstock! Is that a coincidence? Should I get a piece of the commission.

What cracks me and and distresses me at the same time is how these reporters never ask the right questions or find the relevant facts! So, they bought it for $1.1 million. Bully for them, BUT how much did they borrow? That is THE question. If they borrowed 80%, i.e., $880,000, which I suspect they probably did, and just put in $220,000 of their own money into it, the ONLY VICTIM is the poor (but greedy) bank. As I said before, it is the bank that I feel sorry for, and I am glad the bank is being more cautious the second time around. If and when the Inn is sold these folks, most likely, will get back some of what they put in. It is the bank, and its investors, that will suffer the loss.

But, all said, I am glad for the Inn. It needs a break. Somebody that will run it as it should. That said, I wouldn’t rave about its architecture. What they did to the dinning room, albeit 25 or 30 years ago, was beyond amazing. It would have, especially then had a great view of the lake. So you could have had ultra romantic lake view dining, especially at night with the lights twinkling across the lake. That would have been an asset. So what did they do; they built the swimming pool next to the dinning room and blocked the lake views. Yes, of course, if this was Arizona, Nevada or California, it might be fun to have a view of a pool while you ate. But, this is NH! There are times that what you see by the pool convinces you to stop eating, at once, and go on a diet. I have always said, that if I bought the Inn, I would knock the pool down and relocate it. My days of being able to afford the Inn are long gone — because unlike some, I would never borrow money to buy an investment. I would feel terrible if I could not pay it back. I am used to losing my own money and over the years I have lost a lot. But, judging from my credit score and reports I have hardly ever stiffed anyone.

My Sandwich ‘Buddy’ Roderick Russell’s New ‘Remarkably Human’ Web Initiative.

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Anura Guruge


Two Related posts from the Sandwich Fair:
>> Sandwich Fair, NH, October 6, 2012: We Went … — Oct. 6, 2012.
>> Sandwich Fair, NH, October 6, 2012: Some Pictures — Oct. 6, 2012.


Making Roderick look even better at Sandwich. Click to ENLARGE.

Making Roderick look even better at Sandwich. Click to ENLARGE.


Click to access Roderick's amazing Website.

Click to access Roderick’s amazing Website.


The new remarkable venture. Click to become a part of it.

The new remarkable venture. Click to become a part of it.


We got to see him at Sandwich Fair last October and were extremely impressed. Breathtaking show, extremely nice guy. He even put up with me on the stage, without once trying to run me through with his sword — as most others would have been tempted to do. There is even a comment on him on this blog.

Deanna, through his Facebook page, found out about this new venture. Looks very interesting. I am intrigued. Deanna, as ever, will keep me posted.

Once he is up and flying I might have to talk to him about some of my ‘befriending your brain‘ stuff. There is a connection. You can never aspire to be remarkable unless you have at least 70% cooperation from your brain.


Roderick Russell,

Click to ENLARGE.

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