Archive | June 22, 2013

Reasons 1 To 10 Of The 1,001 Reasons I Really, Really HATE DirecTV.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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#1. They palmed me off with an older, now discontinued model HR 34 Genie DVR though they are charging me $25/month for ‘Advanced Receiver‘ and I should have got the new HR 44 which DirecTV cut0ver to in April 2013.

#2. PIP did not work. Had to make a 90 minute call and reboot system to get PIP to finally work.

#3. They installed a used, scratched, paint splattered ‘Internet connect‘ box which the installer found under the front seat of his unmarked, open truck.

#4. The coax cable that the installer fabricated to connect their ‘power box’ to the Genie had an intermittent fault in it and I had to replace the coax 40 minutes after he left.

#5. I still can’t get any TV Apps.

# 6. As with PIP took me a call and ‘hours’ on the phone to get YouTube to work. But, no sound. Appears others have the same problem.

#7. DirecTV tried to automatically bill me for $7.99/month for a Protection Plan when I NEVER ordered one and don’t plan to get one.

#8.NewsMix‘, Channel 352, that is featured in the booklet that they gave me, and a feature perfect for a news junkie like me, was discontinued in November 2012.

#9. 6 hours after installation they billed $45.99 to my credit card though they still haven’t generated a bill for me!

#10. Installer calls me up at 11:15 am, when the appointment was between 8 am to noon, and starts shouting at me that my street is not on (his) GPS, that he is LOST and is somewhere in the woods.

I have just filed a Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaint, at the L. A. Office, for the HR 34 rather than HR 44 scam.

Three Chinese In Space Right Now, In A Chinese Space Station. Did YOU Know That?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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As somebody who grew up with Sputnik, actually met, and shook hands with Yuri Gagarin, and write about astronomy I have always known about Russia’s, Europe’s and Japan’s exploits in space. And yes, of course, I knew China had an ambitious space program too.

But, despite being a news junkie and following news about space on a daily basis, I had no idea that China has their own Space Station, not that dissimilar to the ISS, and that, right now, they have three Chinese ‘taikonauts’ on board. Not sure why but I kind of feel strange that their are 3 Chinese up there looking down on me.

I heard about this when I got this story in my e-mail from — who sends me e-mail updates. Stopped me in my tracks. I went scurrying around to check. Wow. Wow. Wow.

I, like so many others, are resigned to the fact that China will become an even greater Superpower. This sure is a major step for the Chinese towards that goal.

Wow, ‘taikonauts’ looking down at me. 

Just think of the possibilities. Maybe I could hold up a big sign that says: ‘2 #5, 1 #7, 1 #6, 1 #48 and extra helping of hot mustard‘. 

Click to access ''

Click to access ‘’

Yuri Gagarin, in 1961, in Colombo, Ceylon, with a very youthful looking Aunty Bandaranaike, the 1st Female Prime Minister ever. I would have been 8. This was the time when my first conversation for the day, nearly every day, would be with Aunty Bandaranaike, albeit on the phone. This from a 2011 article in the Sri Lankan ‘Daily News’ to commemorate this historic visit. That was when I met him and shook hands. Click for ‘Daily News’ article.

Alton Central School (ACS), N. H. Bullying ‘Issue’ — Independent, 3rd Party Investigative Hearing On Last Day Of School.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> NO student driven assemblies in 2012 – 2013 — June 11, 2013.
>> Much has happened behind the scenes — May 31, 2013.
>> ACS Board dragging heels re. bullying issue … — May 21, 2013.
>> ACS 8th Grader Claims That Bullying Is Alive And Well At ACS
>> — Apr. 5, 2013.

As I said in my last post things have taken a very ironic, BUT equally very serious, twist.

The bullying issue has now transcended kids and peer-to-peer bullying. This was the same issue that we had 2 years ago. Hence why I am so involved in this. We have skin in this issue.

I am not going to divulge much — if any.

I do believe that all are innocent until credibly found guilty.

I will convey this much BECAUSE Alton parents and taxpayer should know.

The Alton School Board, at the behest of the Superintendent, authorized HIRING an independent, 3rd party investigator, from Concord (though not somebody that works for the State), to conduct a ‘full’ investigation.

The process is underway. The 8th grader who brought up this whole issue, along with her parents, met with the investigator this last week — the last week of school.

The investigator will be meeting with others.

However, the findings of the investigator are confidential and will only be seen by the Superintendent and the School Board.

So this is all internal, confidential and ‘closed group’. Possibility that there might have been a further twist during the interview. Somebody else might have been implicated.

Now from what I hear many of the 2012 – 2013 ACS 8th graders KNOW about this investigation, who is being investigated and why! So do their parents.

But, of course, most of the rest of Alton is in the dark — and I do agree with this.

My concern is what happens when the investigation, paid for by taxpayers, is concluded.

Should folks of Alton be told — at a MINIMUM that such an investigation took place, this is what it cost and this is what it found.

I think that that would be fair.

If the person, or now persons, implicated are exonerated, that is worth knowing. And those folks should not have an issue. They were found not to have done any wrong. That would be good to know. A kind of ‘vote of confidence’.

If some fault was found then we should also know! I am just throwing this out here so you can make up your minds.

Had DirecTV Installed Yesterday. Not 100% Happy. Gave Me An OLD HR34 ‘Genie’ vs. HR 44 I Should Have Got.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


by Anura Guruge

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I am NOT happy.

There were some good bits BUT I am not happy.

My appointment was to be between 8 to noon. Got 4 calls — the last 2 said the tech would be late. Then I got a call from the Tech. He said he was LOST! Couldn’t tell me where he was. Said he was in the woods. But he got here at 11:33. He was decent enough.

Came in an open truck NOT a single decal or sign saying DirecTV. But, said he had worked for DirecTV for 14 years.

The installation was as simple as could be. I already had all the wiring from DISH. So all he had to do was install his dish and unhook the coaxes going from the DISH equipment and tap into that.

Though he claimed he had worked for DirecTV for 14 years I later found out that he didn’t even know how to set my TV’s to the proper resolution! I had to reset those.

PIP wasn’t working, neither was YouTube.

Got those working after a 90 phone call today. Still can’t get sound on YouTube. I gather that is a common problem. Had to reset the Genie to get PIP and YouTube.

Not good.

I am bummed. These guys are WAY WAY worse than DISH!

They have already billed me WITHOUT sending me a statement.

I am not happy.

I Just Got A FULL 100% Refund From ‘Direct Sat TV’, N.C. For Their Misrepresentation As ‘DirecTV’.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related Posts:
>> ‘Direct Sat TV’ N.C. giving me full refund — June 18, 2013.
>> ‘Direct Sat TV’ N.C. scammed me — June 17, 2013.
>> I got another $5/month off — June 14, 2013.
>> Signing up with DirecTV … the hassle — June 12, 2013.
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Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Of course I am delighted. Also impressed that they confessed and decided to do the right thing. That is always good.

But, this was a LOT of hassle. I spent over 4 hours on the phone — and with me, it is always the principle of the matter, rather than the dollar amount (though that is important too). Yes, I did file a complaint with the N.C. BBB — and they will now close to out, as they should, saying matter fully resolved. But, it will be there as a warning to others.

Given that I also complained to DirecTV that I was scammed by one of THEIR authorized resellers I got some ‘non-monetary’ compensation from them too — as I should, given the aggravation. So I kind of made out, as I also did when DISH dropped NEO and TEN Cricket from their ‘Cricket Pack’. But, I am an expert and complaining.

I worry about people who get scammed by these resellers.

See the difference in price. $19.95 from DirecTV vs. $74.97 from ‘Direct Sat TV’. $55.02 difference. That is how they make their money.

So be warned. Be careful. Be very careful.

This Weekends Much Hyped ‘Super Moon’ Is ‘Special’, But Not Earth Shattering. We Actually Have ‘3’, Yes ‘3’, In A Row!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> March 2013 ‘Worm’ Full Moon over
>> Alton — Mar. 30, 2013.

++++ Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy‘ on sidebar for other posts >>>>

The deal with a ‘Super Moon’ is that it is close to full (if not at full) and very close to Earth (if not at its closest).

Obviously we get a full moon each month, or to be precise each Lunar Month which is 27.322 days — rounded up to the ’28’ days that determine women’s cycles etc. So full moons, especially to Buddhists, are always ‘special’, but are really common or garden.

Being closest to Earth also happens each and every month — without fail. If it didn’t we would all be in a heap of trouble! Nearly all, if not all, solar system objects have non-circular orbits. Rather than circular the orbits that nearly everything falls into is an elliptical orbit — i.e., an elongated orbit. The degree of this elongation is referred to as Orbital Eccentricity, ‘0’ denoting a perfect circle and ‘1’ a parabolic (i.e., football shaped) orbit. Closer to ‘0’, the more circular, closer to ‘1’ the more elongated. Most of the planets have near-circular orbits, though they are not circular. Earth’s eccentricity is 0.0167. Mercury has the most elongated orbit at 0.2056, with Pluto, now a dwarf planet, having one of 0.248. Comets, which originate at the furthest edges of the solar system have very high eccentricity, Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON), having an eccentricity close to ‘1’!

The Moon’s eccentricity is 0.054906.

Here are some cute diagrams from ‘Google’ that will explain this whole notion of elliptical orbits, perigee and apogee. [When talking of orbits around the Sun the comparable terms used are ‘perihelion’ (closest) and ‘aphelion’ (furthest).

How the orbits of comets, in this case periodics which are NOT as elongated as long-term comets, compare in terms of the gas giants.

The Moon’s distance at perigee (which varies slightly from month to month due to some complicated precession motions) varies between 221,324.4 miles to 230,018.4 miles, the average 225,670 miles.

The apogee, on average, is at 252,088 miles.

So this weekend we get both a full moon and one that is at apogee — these two events happening very close together tomorrow morning between 7:11 am and 7:33 am in the Southern sky (very close to the horizon) over New Hampshire. I will be asleep. It will be quite spectacular tonight too. 

But, to be fair we had a Super Moon in May and another one in July — those the in both those cases the perigee was within 90% of closest as opposed to 100%. That is why tomorrow’s is more ‘special’ than most.

On AVERAGE we get 2 to 3 Super Moons each year — keyword here being ‘average’.

This weekend the brightness of the moon, measured per the confusing apparent magnitude scale which goes backwards [i.e., less NEGATIVE the brighter], will be ~ ‘-12.xx’. The maximum brightness of the full moon is -12.92; the average -12.74.

A real picture of the Moon orbiting the Earth taken by NASA robotic spacecraft ‘Deep Impact’, in 2005, from 30 million miles away.


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