Archive | June 14, 2015

Halfmoon Lake, Alton, N.H.: Our First Real Sojourn Summer Of 2015.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘Halfmoon‘ & ‘Alton‘ for many, many other posts  >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.
All pictures taken using “Teischan’s” $40 Nikon Coolpix S3600 .







This house we bought in 2007 comes with beach rights, albeit for a yearly price, to ‘Halfmoon Lake’. We can get to the Lake in about 3 minutes (or less) by ‘car’ and about 10 minutes if we walk (leisurely). That said, barring weather, how often we go tends to be a ‘movable feast’. There are times, especially July – Sept., when we try to go every evening, around 6 pm, for an hour or so — especially if I am in the swing of swimming every evening. This year we really hadn’t got down to the beach until yesterday evening. And it was Teischan’s doing. She insisted that we went. It was good. I didn’t even put a toe in the water. I KNOW it is going to be too cold for me — especially now that I don’t have an extra 30 pounds of fat. Since we got there past 7pm, per the bylaws, we were allowed to take the dogs. They love it. Maya, from day one, was a water rat. It too Braxton a year or so but now you can’t keep him away. It is good. 


When Did Built In Cup Holders Become Standard On Cars — Particularly British Cars?

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


cupholder1

Click to access “Bon appetit” article.

Related posts:
>> Black XJS.
>>
Burgundy 202 red Jaguar XJ8.
>> 2015:
Green 1968 MGB breaks hibernation.
>> MGB: Dec. 30, 2014 in 18°F.
>> ‘The B Hive’
for MGB parts.
>>
MGB gets Steve Barlow treatment.

>>Brit Bits” in Rye, N.H.
>> Jaguar Association, Andover, MA.

++++ Search ‘MGB many other posts >>>>


It is funny isn’t it how we take certain things for granted and give no thought to how they came to be. Though I am known to ponder many aspects of life until yesterday I had never given any thought to when I STARTED using built in cup holders.

Today I rarely go anywhere without coffee or tea in an insulated mug — and the normal one I use, which I got from the camping section in a Walmart, is HUGE. But until yesterday I never had given thought to all the thousands of miles I had driven, prior to the mid-1990s, in cars that did not have built-in cup holders.

It all came to a head yesterday afternoon when I took the new 1989 Jag XJS to fill her up (given that with her notoriously thirsty petrol consumption habits I wasn’t sure how far we could really go and gas gauges on all British cars are known to be extremely fickle). Since it was afternoon, it was time for my cups of tea — caffeinated and decaf. So I made myself one and took the precaution of putting it in a small insulated mug, as opposed to my giant mug, because I knew that IF the XJS had cup holders they would be for normal size cups — as is, ironically, the case in the 2002 XJ8. But I had feeling that the XJS might not have cup holders. So I sent Devanee, who was coming with me (since she hates not going in ‘her’ cars), to check. She confirmed my worst fears. No cup holders. No big deal. She already knew the drill. No cup holders — she becomes my automated cup holder. She is getting good at it. She holds it, more or less at the right height, without spilling it and puts it into my hand, with the right orientation, when I reach out. She does have her uses, which is good.

Got me thinking. The thousands and thousands of miles I MUST have driven in cars with no cup holders and NEVER gave it a thought. Scary. 1980 to 1983 I was driving 500 to 2,000 miles a week. As customer support manager for ITT Data Systems UK that was my job. Visiting customers all around the country. I had a company car and unlimited petrol (and for that matter an unlimited expense account). I drove. In the UK it did not make sense to fly (especially if you drove like WE (i.e., the professional company car drivers did)). I must have been in the car for 40 hours a week — EASY. But I am sure, though they were all mid- to top-tier company cars of that era (e.g., 2L Ford Cortinas, Rovers etc.) that they did not have cup holders. It also meant that I did NOT drink coffee, tea or soda while I drove. I AM GLAD ABOUT THAT. Because with all the driving that I did I would have drunk way too much caffeine, sweetener and dairy. So it really was sobering.

I can’t now believe how blasé I am about my coffee or tea while driving. As of yesterday I am never going to take it for granted.


A BIG Grateful Thanks To The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission & Kudos.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Got Jaguar in Philadelphia.
>> Thumbs UP “European Cars”

>> Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District.
>>
Philadelphia ‘Zooballoon’.
>>
Running up “Rocky Steps”.
>>
Orangutan at Philadelphia zoo.

++++ Search ‘Philadelphia & ‘Jaguar’ for other posts >>>>


It is so very nice when ‘somebody’ does the right thing and even more special when it is done by a ‘faceless’ large bureaucracy — in this case the “Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission“.

Thank YOU. Thank YOU. Thank YOU.

As the Mark Twain saying goes: Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Well, this very gracious act by the “Penna Turnpike” BOTH gratified and astonished me.

Click to ENLARGE.

What did they do. They sent me a check for $36.85 — a REFUND for the $39.90 I was charged, on May 18, 2015, at the ‘Delaware River Bridge’ toll plaza for NOT having a ticket.

This $39.90 charge, at 1:15 pm was, miraculously, the ONLY mishap we suffered during our 3-day adventure in going by ‘car-c0ach-Amtrak-taxi-Coach-car-taxi-car‘ to Philadelphia to pick up our Jaguar XJ8 and drive it back. Given that we wondered around New York for 5 hours, walked at night in Philadelphia and drove 390 miles in a car that we didn’t know anything about, anything could have happened.

But, luckily, we only had one and only one setback. This $39.90 charge. And it happened within 30 minutes of us getting in the car. We were still getting used to the car when this toll collector insisted that I part with $39.90 BECAUSE I did not have a toll ticket. I understand. People must try to escape paying what they owe by claiming that they lost the ticket. In our case it was not about losing a ticket. We never got one. That is what upset me.

Here is the top part of the letter I wrote to them on May 25, 2015 — a week after the incident.

paletter

Click to ENLARGE.

Well, my point was simple. There was NO machine or person handing out tickets. I am not that stupid that I would get on a Turnpike without a ticket.

Well, they did the RIGHT THING — and I am grateful. They charged me $3.05 and I have no problem, whatsoever, with that. I assume that that was the charge for the distance I covered. That is fine.

This made me very happy. It was the ONLY blemish on what turned out to be quite a magical trip. It bothered me. It bothered the girls. They knew that we had been wronged because they saw that I had NOT driven past a ticket booth.

So this is good. I am happy. The girls are happy.


“Landmark Worldwide”, In New York, Employs THE Rudest Person I Have Yet To Meet.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


kindlepinkRelated posts:
>> Wyndham Philadelphia
Historic District.
>>
Philadelphia ‘Zooballoon’.
>>
Running up “Rocky Steps”.
>>
Orangutan at Philadelphia zoo.
>> 
Got Jaguar in Philadelphia.

>> Anthony Melchiorri responds.
>>
‘Woodstock Lodge’ on ‘Hotel Impossible’. … …

++++ Search ‘Philadelphia & ‘Hotel’ for other posts >>>>


I had never heard of ‘Landmark’, ‘Landmark Worldwide’ or  ‘The Landmark Forum’ until I had to look them up. Cracks me up, no end, that they boast about their prowess in ‘relationships’, ‘quality of life’ etc. when they happen to EMPLOY the RUDEST person I have yet to meet.

What is it all about. Has to do with the pink Kindle Paperwhite that Teischan found on the floor of our hotel room when we went to Philadelphia to pick up our XJ8. As documented here I tracked down the owner, spoke to her on the phone and arranged to ship the Kindle back to her. And we did and I told her that she doesn’t have to bother with reimbursing the $6 (or thereabouts) because I was sure I could afford that for a good cause. So about three weeks ago Deanna took great care to ship it, certified, trackable US PS priority mail, inside two padded envelopes to: c/o Landmark Worldwide, 317A West 33rd St., New York, NY 10001. She tracked it all the way, as is her wont, until it was delivered to Landmark Worldwide. That was weeks ago.

This ingrate, who first name begins with “Ma”, has our e-mail and did e-mail us her mailing address etc. I did not want any money BUT it would have been nice to get a one line e-mail saying that she got her damn Kindle and ‘Thank You’. NOTHING. Nada. Deanna asked me whether I heard anything. I said ‘No’. Deanna, always willing to cut people slack, thought that maybe she was going to send us a thank you note by mail. Our address, of course, was on the Priority Mail envelope.

Nothing.

How rude.

So how can ‘Landmark’ CLAIM to help anybody with anything POSITIVE if they employ anybody as crass as this — though I have to say that ‘Landmark’ probably using this employee could do a dynamite course on “How To Be Exceptionally Rude In Life”.

Yes, to be fair it is possible that the Landmark mailroom did not deliver the Kindle to her. That can happen (and I have seen it happen). If so, Landmark still has issues. Yes, it is possible that her e-mail never got to us. But, typically that would generate a bounce at her end and given that I have received at least two e-mails from her it is unlikely that the communication path does not work.

C’est la vie. Least of my problems in life.

Yes, rudeness bothers me. I am, unashamedly, OLD SCHOOL and exceptionally British when it comes to manners. And I am damn proud of it. Oh yes. I can be incredibly, spectacularly rude — both in actions and words. Just like my swearing and anger. I am only rude when provoked, beyond reason — and as you may be able to imagine given my grasp of the vocabulary and words that I probably can be extremely withering. And I am and I then feel incredibly guilty. But, 95% of the time I am polite to the point that it may seem unctuous. But, in reality it is not. Being polite is something you can do for FREE — though part of my protocol, that sometimes drives Deanna to distraction, is that I try not to visit anybody without taking them something. But, ‘please’ and ‘Thank You’ are FREE and I use them liberally. My adoptive mother, born in Ceylon in 1931, during British rule, was an out and out anglophile with tastes and manners straight out of a Victorian novel. She wanted her adopted son to be the perfect little British gent. Her big thing was “Class”. Yes, she was very much into ‘class’ in everything she did.

Amazes me the number of times people ask things of me, by e-mail, without ever including a ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. Remember this idiot from the University of York in the U.K.?

Anywho … time to move on and my next post is one of extreme politeness by a ‘government’ organization. Yes.


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