Archive | January 20, 2015

Last Apple Left On A Tree In New Hampshire After The 2014 Apple Picking Season?

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by Anura Guruge


Other Related posts:
>> “Appleview Orchard” 2014.
>> Apple picking at “Appleview Orchard”.
>> Apple fritters at “Appleview Orchard”.

++++ Search ‘apple for other posts >>>>

>> Search ‘camera’, ‘Panasonic’, ‘Canon’ & ‘Samsung’ for other related posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.


Picture taken Monday, January 19, 2015 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Crest of Prospect Mountain Road in Alton, New Hampshire.

I had seen this lone apple, against the white backdrop of snow, on my runs up Prospect Mountain Road a few days earlier.

I needed to get up there with a camera. That didn’t happen for a few days. But yesterday, on the way to see “Paddington“, I made a point of putting the Canon Rebel T3i in the car and stopping to take the picture. It was dark and gloomy. But I liked what came out.


I Am NOT Convinced That ‘Don Pyle’ (Ex-Juniper) & Hopefully NOR Sandy, Perished In Annapolis Mansion Fire.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
1. Don Pyle, 1987, was my Best Man!


Update:
post discovery of 6 bodies …. click.


No, it is NOT denial. Denial is not part of my DNA and as some of you have worked out I have a very strange (and to some, disturbing) attitude about death. So it is not that …

Right now, as far as I am concerned, Don Pyle is not dead, and I hope the same is true for Sandy.

That there are 4 grandchildren involved blows my mind. Never knew them. Not even sure how old they are. Actually, thinking back, I am not sure I ever met Sandy’s two kids (from a relationship that predated her marriage to Don). Of course Sandy would talk of them.

I can’t comprehend how 6 people could have died in such a huge house, parts of it built of stone. As the news stories point out if was meant to be ‘part castle’. No I have never been there. During 1985 to 1995, which is when I associated with them the most, they lived in a rather modest, but lavishly furnished house in Ellicott City. In 1987 or 1988 we went and spent some time there and they came up one winter to New Ipswich.

I have three broad theories as to what could have happened. In one of those ‘they’ did NOT perish in the fire. [In NONE of these three scenarios do I see Don nor Sandy conscious and in the mansion when the fire broke out. Simple as that. They were either NOT there or they were NOT conscious. Get it? That the authorities are handling it as a criminal investigation is GOOD. This was NOT an accident. There was NO WAY Sandy would die in a fire IF she was even able to crawl on her hands and knees with every limb in her body broken. Trust me on that. More later.]

As far as I can see no bodies have been recovered as yet. IF and when they do, I want to see EXTENSIVE forensics including DNA, dental records and bone length measurements! IF they say the heat of the fire turned much to ‘ash’ and ‘dust’ I will remain skeptical.

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“Andover Inn”, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. This is NOT my picture, I found it on the Web, BUT this is what it looked like the 2-3 nights Don & Sandy stayed there in January 1987. Huge snowstorm the night before. As was invariably the case when Don & I were together strange ‘things’ would happen. Like a guy in a BMW, who was illegally parked, blocking other cars, losing his windshield wipers and getting very upset because one he couldn’t drive in the snow with no wipers and because replacement BMW wipers are NOT cheap. For reasons WE never fathomed this guy believed, when all that we had been doing, was what we were best at doing, which was propping up the bar at the Inn, that we HAD to have had something to do with his missing wipers. It was just the way Don & I looked. The two amigos. As we kept on telling the guy, to the amusement of all, “why would we want two BMW wipers and even if we did, why would we bother to go out in a storm to take it off your car … we would have just picked up the phone and ordered a pair and had it delivered to the bar”.

I have been in touch, via e-mail, with a mutual friend, somebody who did stay in touch with the Pyles. He is in Santa Barbara. Like the Pyles he also worked for Rixon before CASE bought the company. So he goes back with the Pyles much longer than I do. Plus he has been to the mansion. He only heard about the news at 10 pm California time. Wow. He is going to call me today. He and I will go through some thoughts. Kind of strange. He, my friend in Santa Barbara, was at the wedding. The night before, when everybody else had gone to bed, the three of us, sat in my suite at the Andover Inn (Massachusetts — part of Phillips Academy (as in the Bushes)), which is where I got married that time around, drinking champagne and talking shop. All three of us were heavily into networking — and my other friend made this very telling remark: “if people knew … what we know about this business … there would be World War III”.

I have also had a number of e-mails from another friend. Another ex-CEO of various networking companies. He also, by coincidence, happens to be in Santa Barbara. He only knew Don by reputation. But this friend used to have a mansion in Marion, Mass. just across from the famed harbor. Sometime c. 1998 it caught fire — while all of them, luckily, were away in Miami. His brother, who was my Best Man in 2003, was the first, in the family, to get to the fire given that he too was living in Marion. He had to call up his brother, in Miami, and basically start: “you are not going to believe this …. but I am standing in front of your house … and it is in flames … the cars are burning …”. There was extensive damage BUT they managed to save it and they were back living in it within the year (I think). Well, he has been pouring over the news story. He doesn’t sleep! He is skeptical too.

Well … I will stay on top of this.


“Paddington” The Movie (2014): A Jolly Good Romp. Pukka Show. Five Claws Up.

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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> “Grand Budapest Hotel”
>> “Penguins of Madagascar”
>>
“The Boxtrolls”
>>
“The Sessions”
>>
Disney ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

>> ‘Hyde Park On Hudson’
>> “Frozen” 
>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
>> ‘The Other Son’ etc 

++++ Search ‘movie’ & ‘Disney’  for other related posts using the sidebar options >>>>>>


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Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful.

Deanna who tends to be a bit fussy about movies like this just adored it. Teischan, who is also quite picky given the volume of movies she does watch, was entranced. Devanee (14) liked it but she would have preferred, given her current interests, if we had seen ‘Selma’ instead.

I loved it. As soon as I had seen the trailer for it in November I said I wanted to see it. I grew up on (and with) Paddington and Noddy. So this was nostalgia, distilled.

It was very good. The quality of the image, in terms of DEFINITION, color, rendering and texture, was definitely next generation. Best we have seen and we see at least 3 – 4 kids movies per year at a high-tech, modern movie theatre.

Yes, it is very Anglophil and I worry that many Americans will have no idea what it is about and as such give it a miss. A bit like what happened to “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” — though this is a much better movie, though “Mr. Peabody” was also brilliant.

Another very lavish, sumptuous production. The quality of the image being shown will just AMAZE you.

Wonderful, heartwarming story with a bit of “101 Dalmatians” in it with a Cruella de Vil counterpart. London is depicted at its very best and it really doesn’t rain as much.

Go see it. Kids will love it. Adults will find it soothing and relaxing.

Grand job. A jolly romp. Hip. Hip. Hooray! We did it again.


‘Free Fillable Forms’ For Doing 2014 Federal Taxes Will Be Available January 20, 2015.

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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> 2013 ‘
Free Fillable Forms’ eFile option.
>> 2013
‘Free Fillable Forms’ available Jan. 31, 2014.
>> 2013 ‘Free Fillable Forms’ Form 8949 ‘various’.
>> IRS Provided ‘Free Fillable Forms’: Huge Endorsement.
>> 
IRS Form 8949 Should Be On An Exception Basis ….

>> IRS Form 8949 ‘Copy & Paste’ with ‘Free Fillable Forms’.


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Click to access the IRS page to access ‘Free Fillable Forms’.


This is 11 days ahead of when it was available in 2014. That is good news.

I have been using the IRS provided “Free Fillable Forms”, to great success, since about 2010 (if not earlier).

I love “Free Fillable Forms”.

It is just what the doctor ordered for me. Yes, I appreciate that it is definitely not for everyone. You need to know your way around your taxes and be able to do them yourself, using the IRS provided instructions augmented with some Googling, with no automated help from any built-in software.

It has some idiosyncrasies and some annoyances but it does what it promises to do and does so well, without any drama.

I would be lost without it.

I do NOT like Tax Preparation software, though I used them, in their early days for about a decade. No, I didn’t actually do my taxes with them! I would buy the software, each year, and first do a ‘rough cut’ of my taxes before I went to see my brilliant, superhuman accountant. He knew I had already done the taxes and had the pages with me. Sometimes he would go ‘Damn Anu, show me what you have rather than getting me to do all of this from scratch’. Most of the time I wouldn’t. I wanted to see how his numbers matched up with what the software did. It was a great way to learn. That is why I can do my own taxes now.

I do multiple schedules with “Free Fillable Forms”, e.g., schedules A, B, C, D etc. Last year my return ran to 16 pages. So my return isn’t exactly trivial, but FFF makes it possible for me to do it without too much inconvenience.

So, I have nothing but good words for “Free Fillable Forms”. It saves my bacon every tax season. I always thank the IRS for FFF. Thank YOU IRS for “Free Fillable Forms”.

Again, it is definitely not for everyone, BUT if all you want are the Tax Forms and you know how to fill them in, the FFF is just what you were looking for.

Bon Chance!


‘Don Pyle’, Ex-Juniper Networks, The Owner Of This Fire Gutted Mansion, Was My Best Man In 1987.

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by Anura Guruge


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‘The Washington Post’ coverage. Click to access. Search “Don Pyle” in Google News for many, many other posts.


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The British “Daily Mail” coverage. This was their Headline story Monday night. This was the story I first saw. Click to access. As it says above, check Google News for more.


I am NOT convinced that Don is dead. Check this latest post …

Post following the discovery of six bodies …


We had been out much of the afternoon and early evening. We went to Portsmouth to see the ‘Paddington’ movie. We got back after 8pm. Around 8:30, I was sitting in bed, partially changed, checking the latest news on my pad — because, as you know, I am a news junkie. When checking news on the pad, I always start with the U.K. “Daily Mail” (my favorite newspaper of long standing) because they have, hands down, the latest and most detailed news. I must have been looking at the ‘U.K.’ tab this morning because that is where I started. Then I skipped over to the U.S. tab.

As soon as I saw the headline, which was the TOP STORY, though it did NOT mention a name I had a premonition. For whatever reason ‘Don Pyle’ crossed my mind. In a millisecond after that I looked down and saw the two thumbnail pictures. I did NOT have to read anymore. I recognized them. That was weird. I called out to Deanna and Devanee saying “that is my Best Man”. Deanna, rightly, thought I was talking about when we got married in 2003 — given that he too was a high-flying network executive. She had not met the Pyles. I had to tell them that this was from 1987.



I met Don & Sandy in February 1985 when I came over from the U.K., with CASE Communications, to be the new Director of Marketing (for multiplexers) for CASE (U.S.A.). To kickstart the U.S. operation Case (at that time the European market leader in networking equipment) had bought a Silver Spring, Maryland based company Rixon. Don & Sandy, though young at the time, were Rixon veterans — Don an up and coming, ever ebullient salesman. Don befriended me given that I was new in the U.S. (that time around) and he was a local. CASE was noted for its ‘socializing’, way-over-the-top Sales Meetings and general bonhomie. Don in those days specialized in selling to the Bell Operating Companies — and he was damn good at it. Within the first year he sold a $6 million modem deal to Bell Atlantic (I think) — by far the biggest single order at the time. I think his commission, given that CASE was also noted for its lavish rewards, was in excess of $300,000. Yes, we all had a few drinks … But, that was par for the course.

Around that time, after that big deal, when he could start looking at other opportunities, we started making joint calls — that being my primary role. Making calls with salesman to close deals. So we spent a lot of time, a lot of it in his car, a BMW, since his territory was around the Maryland area — possibly as far as Philly (and I do remember an overnight trip there with him).

He ended up in a cubicle next to my office. Neither of us were in the office that much. But if we were we saw a lot of each other and he would often just wonder in to shoot the breeze. Yes, I was part of the crowd that could get away with calling him ‘Gomer’. Sandy had a support role in the office and I saw a fair amount of them. We socialized after work. I have only been to one professional baseball game. It was to see the Orioles in Baltimore. Don & Sandy took me. So that was how he ended up as my Best Man in 1987.

As so often happens we kind of drifted apart after the divorce. Given that he was at Juniper at the time I also think he wasn’t happy of my (at that time) very close relationship with Cisco — Juniper’s nemesis. We still kind of kept in touch with mutual friends from the CASE days. When I had a LinkedIn account (until about 2013) he was one of my contacts. We had messaged each other a few times through LinkedIn. I did speak to him briefly about 4 years ago.

I really hope they are OK. Very good people. Loads of fun. Laugh a minute. Sandy is very good at telling jokes, many at Gomer’s expense. But he was used to it.


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