Archive | July 3, 2014

Alton, N.H. Slips Up. “4th Of July” Fireworks, Originally Scheduled For July 3rd, First Moved To July 5th Is Now On July 12th, 2014!

By the same folks that gave us our unique, all black semaphores.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

by Anura Guruge

Thursday mornings announcement saying postponed from July 3rd to July 5th.


This mornings. Click to ENLARGE. You can see the 10:15 am timestamp on the weatherbug at top right.

See Thursday morning ’11 am’ post with above screenshot saying that it was on July 5th.

Latest announcement. Pushed back to the 12th. July 12th?
That is not even close!

Click to ENLARGE. Use link below to access the Alton Town Hall Website announcement.

Click to ENLARGE. Use link below to access the Alton Town Hall Website announcement.

Link to Alton Town announcement of postponement from
July 3rd to July 12th.

Talk about a rookie mistake. Didn’t check with the Firework company to make sure that their barge (for firing off the fireworks) was available on Saturday, July 5 — a rather busy “July 4th weekend”.

Ooops. Didn’t check?

Hence why they had to postpone by a whole week. There will be a lot of disappointed visitors.

But no repercussions, of course. Par for the course.

Funny thing, but I am known for my contingency plans for my contingency plans, the first thing that crossed my mind this morning when I heard that they had pushed it to July 5th was “hhmmm, fancy having the barge available at such short notice”.

Saddest thing. No storm! Not a bad afternoon or evening. I even went for my swim the lake at 5pm. We could have had them planned as originally scheduled. But that is the fault of the forecasters.

Rowan, Archbishop Of Canterbury, Buddhism & Prayer — Seemed Oxymoronic To Me.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Appeal to all
>> Buddhists — June 28, 2014.

>> 2nd largest religion — June 5, 2014.
>> ‘Poson’ in June — May 31, 2014.
>> 2014 Vesak greeting — May 14, 2014.
>> Happy Vesak 2014>May 13, 2014.
>> Vesak 2014 Pandols>May 13, 2014.

∠∠ Buddha’s descendants May 17, 2014.

++++ See Category ‘Sri Lanka‘ or search on ‘Sri Lanka‘ & ‘Buddhism‘  for other related posts >>>>

Click to access the U.K. "The Telegraph" -- my 2nd favorite newspaper of all time.

Click to access the U.K. “The Telegraph” — my 2nd favorite newspaper of all time.

Given that the “C of E” is outside my sphere of interest and affiliation I really don’t know that much about Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams other than he was a scholar, ‘open-minded’, popular and had a good relationship with the prior pope. I have only done one post about him and that had to do with the pope. I just found out, from Wikipedia, that he is from my ‘native’ Swansea. Well, that makes him even more special.

This “Daily Telegraph” article caught me as “funny”, even oxymoronic, given my own personal views on Buddhism, meditation and prayer — all subjects I have written about here over the last year.

I, of course, have no problem with whatever Dr. Williams cares to practice. I am a great believer in ‘each to their own’.

I just would like people to try and draw some demarcation when it comes to Buddhism, meditation and prayer — since they don’t go hand-in-hand as this article tends to portray.

Though I was driven, committed, model Theravada Buddhist for the first 18 years of my life, prior to giving up on any and all belief in any type of afterlife, meditation was not a big part of my life. Prior to leaving Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) a week prior to my 14th birthday, I went to a Buddhist school, went to Sunday school (which seems ‘funny’ since Sundays have no significance in Buddhism), interacted with Buddhist priests daily, had a rather grand Buddhist shrine in the house and visited a temple at least once a week. My life revolved around an axis that was so Buddhist that it was untrue. I was, by adoption, a part of an extremely activist Buddhist family. But, meditation was NOT ever a big part of my life! We might have done, at most, 10 minutes of meditation, typically as an after thought, during Sunday school. I still remember the drill and as with so much of my Buddhism it related to the impermanence and imperfection of life! So the monk would ask us to sit ‘properly’, close our eyes, regulate our breathing etc. etc. Then we were told to visualize holding a brand new, fresh piece of white cloth in our hand. We would then he told, in our mind’s eye, to start stroking this piece of cloth with our other hand. This motion was supposed to regulate our breathing and make us calm. Then would come the kicker. We were told to notice how with time, Ceylon being hot and humid, the pure white cloth would start getting stained with our sweat. Ahhh! The cloth was getting dirty. Now, as part of the meditation, we had to relate this ‘degrading’ of the cloth to what would happen to our bodies with age. That was the meditation. Hey, when I was 8 this was powerful stuff. I soaked it all in. But by the time I got older (and as some used to unkindly say “after I discovered girls”) this all struck me as “screw this for a game of soldiers”. But, my point is that the Buddhism I grew up in, and it was the real McCoy at least as far as we were concerned, didn’t involve much meditation. So whenever I see meditation equated with the end-all-and-be-all of Buddhism, it, at a minimum, makes me raise my eyebrows.

Ditto for Buddhism and prayer. In theory Buddhist should NOT pray! They have nobody to pray to. I kind of explained it here. Yes, Buddhist pray. The family that adopted me were BIG into prayer. But they prayed to the Hindu gods and sometimes even to the Christian God. So that is the flip of what Rowan is doing. Devout Buddhist praying to Christ because the Buddha is unavailable to answer prayer.

That is all. No quarrels. Each to their own. Do whatever you want. I just needed to get off my chest the feelings that I get when I see Rowan Williams, Buddhism, meditation and prayer in the same sentence.

The Wyethian James O’Neil Paintings At The “Redfield Artisans Gallery” In Northeast Harbor, Maine — Outside Acadia.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related Post:
>> Acadia: June 2014
>>June 28, 2014.
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>>June 30, 2014.
>> 3 obscure facts about Acadia

>>July 1, 2014.
>> Cooksey Overlook, “Acadia”

>>July 2, 2014.

>> Acadia was fabulous —
>>Sep. 9, 2013.

>> ‘Thirsty Whale’, Bar Harbor
>>Sep. 10, 2013.

>> Grand Canyon
>> Experience — Apr. 27, 2013.

Northeast Harbor, on Mount Desert Island, to the south of the main swath of Acadia National Park, to me, is quintessential ‘Down East‘ Maine. Reminds me of Camden, Maine, on a smaller, more intimate scale. We drove through it last September when we were trying to get a feel of the island. On this trip I planned to spend an afternoon there and that we did on Thursday, June 26. Delightful. Delightful. Delightful.

awyeth2Maine, compared to New Hampshire, has a lot of art galleries. They even have a big, fat magazine called ‘Maine Gallery + Studio Guide’ featuring some of the outlets. We used to go to Rockland and Camden quite a bit since Deanna is from Cushing, Maine — just further down south from Rockland. I used to be in awe at the number of galleries and the quality of work on sale. Yes, we know it is Wyeth country. Deanna, as a child growing up in Cushing, knew Andrew Wyeth — Cushing being Wyeth’s summer residence where he painted all of the haunting “Christina” paintings. Yes, we have a large “Christina’s World” print that has pride of place in the house. Deanna was one of the kids that used to get quarters from Andrew — to buy ice cream! This is Deanna’s aunt, by marriage, Siri, that Andrew painted (some topless) — when the subject was about 14 years old. [It was still a different age then! Here is a link to some of the Wyeth ‘Siri’ images.]


They (like some galleries) do not have a Website. This is a part of their ad. in that “Maine Gallery + Studio Guide 2014”. I found that online. Click to access that guide. The BOTTOM picture is a James O’Neil.

Next to bookshops art galleries are my next favorites places to hang around and browse. So as soon as we parked in Northeast Harbor I, with the kids in tow, headed to the nearest art gallery, the “Redfield Artisans Gallery”, which happened to be right in front of where we parked. I had already seen the really neat, stone whale sculptures in the window. That is really why I parked there. I was curious as to how much they were. They were not bad. Around $1,100. Kind of ‘affordable’ for what they are — classic pieces of art.

Then I saw the pictures. I was blown away — as was Devanee, who is quite little artist in her own way.

You can’t miss them.

It is his rocks.

They are special. They are luminescent. They stand out. They are 3D. It is just like looking at real chunks of rock in Maine (on a sunny day) in terms of texture, depth and feel. You just want to reach out.

Without me even saying anything Devanee, 13, immediately made the Wyeth association because his paintings of houses matched the house in “Christina’s World” that she has seen every day of her life for the last 11 years. That is one heck of a testament to James O’Neil. If a 13-year old can see the resemblance, but comment that the rocks are better, he is on a roll.

I spent nearly 40 minutes, mesmerized, looking at his work. Yes, there were some other very, very good paintings, sculptures and objet d’art, but I was totally and utterly captivated by O’Neil. Some of his bigger pieces are way, way, way outside of my “pay scale” — as they should be. I have no problem with that. They are worth every cent that they want for those. But, some of his smaller pieces could be within reach — in my dreams. I keep on telling myself, quite rightly, that our biggest problem is that we have no more wall space! But, my O’Neil is on my radar.


This is a ‘James O’Neil’ page from another gallery. Some of the pictures on show at the “Redfield” appear on the right. “Around the Ledges”, in full size, that is probably 4.5′ x 3′, will stop you dead in your tracks. Click to access this page online.

Portland, Maine “Stars and Stripes Spectacular”, 2014 — Latest Event Info Does NOT Show Don McLean. Heads UP.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


by Anura Guruge

Related Don McLean Posts from Portland July 4, 2013:
>> Click for the Don McLean picture montage.
>> Click for the videos.
>> Click for panoramas.
>> Click for Stars and Stripes Spectacular pictures.

++ Don McLean in Portland 2014May 14, 2014.
++ Rain on Don’s Parade? — July 2, 2014.
++ Postponement to July 5th? — July 3, 2014

The latest event info., online, does NOT show Don McLean.

Event info. in May 2014, as shown below (and in this post), did show him at 7:40 pm. BUT, I always feared that that was a tentative ‘placeholder’ schedule and that it would change. Sorry. Not my fault. We are as crushed as you. We love Don. It was such an honor and joy to see him last year. I had tears pouring down my face. The kids were intrigued.

Click to ENLARGE. Use link below to access schedule online.

Click to ENLARGE. Use link below to access schedule online.

Click here to access schedule online from the official Website.

Not familiar with Suzanne Nance. Just Googled her. Appears she worked for MPBN — Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Appears that she is an award-winning soprano. Hhhmmm. Devanee is a soprano and given her involvement with Clearlakes Chorale and now Great Waters it might be good for her to see her. Not sure what the plans are. Our main motivation for making the trek was to see Don. But Deanna, being a Mainer, kind of wants to go to Portland irrespective. Will all depend whether it gets postponed etc. Alton fireworks are now on Saturday, so are “Annie and the Orphans” in Wolfeboro. That one is easy to solve, at least from my perspective. Sorry about the bad news re. Don.

The original schedule as it was posted, with 2014 ‘timestamps’, in May 2014.

Click to ENLARGE.

Alton, N.H. “4th Of July” Fireworks, Originally Scheduled For July 3rd, Now Moved To Saturday, July 5th, at 9:20 pm.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

by Anura Guruge

Now pushed back all the way to July 12th!
See latest post.


Had an e-mail about it in my mailbox when I opened it a few minutes ago.

I am indeed lucky. People kindly keep me informed of stuff like this (and other, some very intriguing happenings in town). IF you only knew.

Enjoy the fireworks, the parades, the concerts and cookouts. I sure plan to. Hectic, ever changing, schedule for the next 96 hours involving all of that, and more. As a patriotic Brit I am not sure, however, whether it is ‘politically correct’ to wish you all a ‘Happy 4th’.

Pompous, ultra-right-wing Joe Kernen of CNBC, who so far as insulted, on air, the Dutch and Indians, was trying to make a big deal that he has been wishing all his British colleagues a “Happy 4th of July” and that he can’t understand the frosty response he has got. Very old and stale story.

Happened to me, in person, on the 4th of July, 1985 — the first 4th on my second time around to the U.S. Was living in a rather posh, brand new, $350K homes with 4 acres each, development in Woodbine, Maryland — about 30 miles west of Baltimore. Very friendly and social community though they tried, to my amusement, to block a black couple from buying a house there. 4th of July 1985. Cookout at the folks across the road. Everybody is there. They all know us. We were the Brits, one talks funny and the other has a perfect BBC accent. This lady sidles up to me, puts her arm around my arm and asks: “So Anu, how do they celebrate the 4th in England?”

To this day I am so proud that I was immediately able to come up with “Very quietly, very quietly” in a flash — without even a moment of hesitation. Don’t know where or how I came up with that. But I was very pleased. She accepted that answer and didn’t probe me on that further. Just groped me a bit, but that was par for the course for me in the 1980s.

Those were the days that I used to fly back to the UK three to four times a year to do seminars. I always started my seminars with a 3 minute round of jokes. That was one of the many trademarks. I spent more time working on the jokes than I did on the subject matter of the seminar. For years, maybe six or seven years, that 4th of July exchange became a part of the 3-minute joke repertoire. It cracked up the Brits. never failed. And it really happened. Honest injun.

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