Archive | December 2018

A Very Fine Rendering Of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ For New Year’s 2019 By Dougie MacLean.

by Anura Guruge




The correct, and ONLY-WAY, to link arms — CROSSED — to
sing Auld Lang Syne for the New Year.


Many thanks to Reg Portieous, of ‘The Brigadoons‘,
for sharing this YouTube with me today.

Made my day — and I hope it makes yours too.


New Year’s Eve will not be New Year’s Eve without a proper rendering of ‘Auld Lang Syne‘ and this by Dougie MacLean is pretty damn impressive.

I, as you will find if you look around this blog, am a connoisseur and aficionado of ‘Auld Lang Syne‘. So, I was might please to hear this.

Happy New Year.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘Holidays’.


by Anura Guruge

Deciding Between The New Polar Vantage V & The Venerable Garmin Fenix 5.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.

‘Polar Vantage V’ & ‘Garmin Fenix 5 Plus’ Side-By-Side On My Wrist.





Price-wise they are $50 apart at Amazon (today), the new Polar Vantage V at $500 and the Garmin Fenix 5 at $450. [The Fenix 5 Plus is more expensive.]

In November 2018, when the Polar Vantage V came out, I was lucky enough to be given one to evaluate. I kept it for two weeks and wore it, ’24×7′ (bar charging time) for 11-days straight. Since I own a Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, and upgraded to that from a Garmin Fenix 5, I am pretty qualified to compare the two.

I have to say I was excited to get the Polar Vantage V. The early promotional matter made it very compelling. I was fairly convinced that I was going to ‘buy’ the evaluation unit and keep it.


The Polar Vantage V, with its bright, multicolor, touchscreen, 4-field display, is the perfect training watch. It really enhanced my running experience. I could see my heart rate, color-coded, at a glance, relative to its expected range – along with my pace, distance and time. Then using the up/down buttons I could quickly get altitude, ‘power’, heart rate data as well as the time-of-day. At the end of an activity (in my case a run), I was treated to a chock-a-block ‘training summary’ which included: distance, calories, heart rate zones, cardio load, pace/speed, speed zones, altitude change, power zones, cadence, etc. etc. It was like having a training COMPUTER on your wrist. And all of this on the watch – independent of the phone or computer APP.

It was pretty awesome. A level of (shareable) training data unmatched by any other watch I have used and I am no stranger to high-end Garmins, Fitbits and Samsungs.

As a sport watch the Polar Vantage V, in my experience, is in a new, crème de la crème, class of its own. Its GPS and heart rate data is consistent with what I have seen with my other high-end GPS watches – though its overall ‘step count’ appears to be about 20% too generous (probably because you can’t customize your actual stride length). That said, if you are a serious, dedicated athlete training for competitions, marathons, triathlons, Ironman or the Olympics, this very well might be the perfect watch for you.


The Polar Vantage V has two very different personalities – a ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ watch!

When in training-mode it is superlative. Probably peerless. THE watch to have. Period.

But, when in pre-training mode, i.e., when you are not training, it is a pretty pedestrian watch! In pre-training mode it is a pretty basic, uninspiring watch that does not tell you much. That is the rub. Hence, the need for very careful consideration. When not in training-mode it is a very boring watch!


That Polar does not call it a ‘smart watch’ is no accidental, oversight. The Vantage V is not a smart watch even by 2017 standards – let alone those of 2018 or 2019.

In pre-training mode it is insipid! There are no customizable, third-party watch faces with ‘bells-and-whistles’, nor widgets or APPs. There is no ‘ABC’ (i.e., altitude, barometer, compass), weather, sunrise/sunset, temperature, calendar or smart notifications from your phone. And I won’t even mention maps, music or credit/debit card payments. Oh, it also does not count/report floors climbed (i.e., altitude changes) when in pre-training mode.

While it does measure sleep time, there is no analysis in terms of whether it was REM or Deep. That is frustrating since I am used to getting that from Garmin and Fitbit. It is possible that Polar might add this ‘deep analysis’, at a later date, with a firmware update.


I thought about this long and hard.

On a scale of 1-to-10 determine the role and importance of training/fitness in your life. If you rate training/fitness at 7.5 or less, the Polar Vantage V might not be the right watch for you. If on the other hand, training/fitness figures as an 8.5 or above, definitely think about getting the V V. It would be a marriage made in heaven.

Another way to approach this is to determine your ‘training’ vs. ‘pre-training’ ratio, in terms of waking hours. If the ratio is greater than 50:50, in favor of training, the Polar V V very well could be the watch of your dreams. If on the other hand, training only accounts for 20%, or less, of your waking hours, you might want to consider a different watch — i.e., the all-round Garmin Fenix 5 (Plus).


The Polar Vantage V is possibly the ultimate sport watch currently on the market for pro athletes. Therein, however, lies the rub. If you are not a pro athlete this might be overkill for you. Get the Fenix 5 instead and you will be very happy.

So, the choice is straightforward. If training/fitness is a dominant feature of your life check out the Polar. On the other hand your life is more balanced wear a Fenix 5 with PRIDE.


Related posts:
Search ‘tracker’.


by Anura Guruge

Wolfeboro, N.H.: No ‘First Night’ For 2019 (i.e., December 31, 2018) BUT There Is A ‘Last Night’.

by Anura Guruge


For 2019 – 2020 UPDATE, i.e., Dec. 31, 2019.



This was also the case last year and the year before.

No ‘First Night’, with a midnight fireworks, as there used to be — instead a ‘Last Night’ that wraps up by 9pm.

An early end will not be a bad thing in 2018 since we will be getting snow/ice/rain around that time.


Click to access the official Facebook page for this event.


The Events, from their Facebook page — linked above.

Click to ENLARGE.


Related posts:
Search on ‘Wolfeboro’.
Check Categories ‘events’ & ‘Lakes Region’.


by Anura Guruge

2018 Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA), ‘Nordic Celebration’ — The ‘Thank You’ Video From The Gang.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the ‘Thank You’ video at vimeo.com. It is safe. Promise.




This year end ‘Thank You’ video (at Vimeo) is now becoming another Revels (Cambridge) tradition. A nice touch. A fond year-end reminder, when the days are truly dark and damp, for those of us who were fortunate enough to attend a performance, as to the ever uplifting gaiety of a Revels. For those, alas, who could not attend, it gives you a quick glimpse of what Revels was all about.

We attended the December 20 show. The fourth or fifth Revels we have attended at Cambridge. Overall, I have been to about 20 between Revels North & Cambridge.

2018 Revels, by definition, was good. It wasn’t the best nor was it brilliant. But, it was still good and that is what counts.

Enjoy this ‘Thank You’ video. It captures what it is all about.

Happy New Year 2019.


Related posts:
Search on “Revels“.


by Anura Guruge


 

Sunday Buffet Brunch, In Winter, At The “Castle In The Clouds”, Definitely Looks Like A Winner.

by Anura Guruge


Click IMAGES to ENLARGE.





We, as you must have realized, are huge fans of ‘The Castle In The Clouds‘ and ‘attached’ ‘Carriage House Restaurant‘. We try to eat there as often as we can, but are also often thwarted in that they are so, so busy.

This is the first I had heard about these Winter 2019 Sunday buffet brunches. I am a brunch addict. This looks GREAT. I am going to try and go as soon as I can.

Just wanted to share it with you.

Happy New Year.


Related posts:
Search ‘clouds.


by Anura Guruge

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