Archive | June 2018

A Brilliant Mars – Moon Conjunction Over New Hampshire, Saturday, June 30, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Base sky map, AS ALWAYS, from neave.com/planetarium/.


The Moon does not rise above our trees till around 11:30pm. So, you have to wait for that. Gets better later it gets. Really cool around 1am.

You will still be able to see Mars and the Moon tomorrow (Sunday) and for a couple of days further. But, the Moon will NOT be as fool.

Mars is at a 15-year CLOSENESS, i.e., it hasn’t been this close to Earth in 15-years. So, it is unusually BIG.

Try and catch it. It will be worth it.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘Astronomy’.


by Anura Guruge

I Am Crushingly Disappointed In My Garmin Fenix 5 — It Counted 8,000 Steps While I Was On A Bus!

by Anura Guruge


Click images to ENLARGE.




Know problem. They were talking about it YESTERDAY!


We were in Acadia for 5-days, and as is always the case when I am there, I was racking up the steps because that place begs you to hike. We had great, even exceptional weather, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday — but it bucketed down on Thursday. This was our 11th trip to Acadia in 5-years and we expect a day or two of rain. So, no big deal. One of our rainy-day activities is to take the FREE, L.L. Bean ‘Island Explorer’ bus from Bar Harbor all the way to Bernard on the other side of the Island and back. Mindless. Just sit in the bus and watch all the familiar landmarks in the rain. We always sit in the very back, on the long bench seat because that amuses Teischan. But, it is very bouncy and ‘slippery’ back there and in addition to getting jostled I do have to grab at seat backs and seat belts to stop from sliding around.

We had got to Southwest Harbor and was going up a small incline when my ‘GOAL’ buzzer went off. It was for meeting 10-floors of elevation, i.e., 100 feet. That surprised me since I had only done about 30′. Then I realized it was the barometric altimeter registering the elevation gains while I was in the bus. I was willing to overlook that. But, it made me look at my steps. I was flabbergasted! It had me having done around 5,000 steps, and I knew I had only done around 1,000 that day. So, I started monitoring the steps. They were going up like CRAZY.

At the end of the 3 hour bus ride it was showing in excess of 9,000 steps! 8,000 of those were BOGUS. I was CRUSHED and I still am.

I understand that the accelerometer sees the motion, BUT for whatever reason I had assumed that the Fenix 5 would have had algorithms that sorted that out. Not so.

I Googled. Yes, it is a problem across all activity trackers.

Now that I am retired I do not spend much time inside vehicles. I can easily go 4 to 5 days, sometimes even longer, without ever riding in a vehicle. I run and walk. So, I had NOT noticed these miscounted steps before.

On Friday, on the way back, I decided to keep track. I was driving our Nissan Quest which is a much smoother ride than the bus. For about an hour I did not see any missteps counted. Then, I saw 30 getting counted very quickly. Overall, in what was a 4.5 hour drive I saw 80 steps added. I can live with that. HUGE difference between 80 and 8,000.

Garmin should have a widget that disables step & floor counting. So, when you get in a vehicle you just activate that widget. It will monitor heart rate and stress but not steps or elevation. That should be trivial to implement.

I am CRUSHED. Now, I don’t trust any of the step counts.


Related posts:
Search ‘Garmin’.


by Anura Guruge

The Passing Of ‘Donald Hall’, Our Poet Laureate — But I Remember Him For The ‘Ox-Cart Man’.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the “Concord Monitor” coverage.


Click for Amazon listing for this GREAT book.


I had the honor of meeting Donald Hall once. It was probably 19-years ago and I think it was in Tilton (or thereabouts) in a church hall. He was doing a book signing for the ‘Ox-Cart Man‘. My son Matthew, very young at the time, loved that book. I went, with some friends from Meredith, to get an autographed copy. I suspect that that book is in this house somewhere. I hope the kids did not give it away.

Great man. I could take or leave his poetry, but I am not big into poetry. But, that is my loss.

If you are not familiar with the ‘Ox-Cart Man’ you really should check it out. It is lavishly illustrated too.

Donald Hall (1928 – 2018), RIP.


Related Posts:
Search ‘books’.


by Anura Guruge

“Maudie” Movie (2016) On Starz About Canadian Artist Maud Lewis — Very Watchable & Moving.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


Click image to access IMDb.com listing for this movie.


The actual Maud Lewis. Click to ENLARGE and read. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maud_Lewis


Some Maud Lewis paintings from Google Images.



This is quite the movie! Wow. Very moving. It sucks you right in.

One night a couple of weeks ago I was going through my STARZ channels on DISH and caught a bit of the movie. Looked interesting. So, I downloaded it, from STARZ-on-Demand.

Never heard of the movie or Maud Lewis, which it is about. But, I am glad I downloaded it.

Amazing story. I like a plain but bold paintings. Very inspirational. She was always happy and smiling despite all of her obvious adversity and setbacks.

Definitely recommended.


Related Posts:
Category ‘arts’.
Search ‘movie’.


by Anura Guruge

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