Category Archives: Recommendations

‘XPO’, Today, Finally Delivered Shipment From Lowe’s, & Moreover, Tries To Make Amends.

by Anura Guruge

Two totally futile calls to their offshore call-center on Friday night. Then 3 calls on Saturday — two of them to Lowe’s. Lowe’s was frustrated & sympathetic. They even tried to see if they could do an ‘Emergency Load‘ on Sunday. To see if that was possible they wanted me to call the local freight manager, at the Gilford (N.H.) store, at 7a.m.! That is early. He assured us that he couldn’t do it on Sunday because he didn’t have a truck big enough but he would make sure we would get our delivery on Monday morning — first thing.

On Sunday night (@ 8.05pm) & Monday morning (@ 7am) we received automated calls from XPO citing a Monday morning delivery between 7:30am & 11am. That was more promising than the 4pm to 8pm claim on Friday.

The truck, with a forklift, did show up shortly after 7:30am.

It was NOT a XPO truck nor driver. It was a 3rd party company called ‘Viper‘. They contract to XPO.

The driver was very nice. He knew exactly what had happened on Friday. He said that a driver had not showed up to do delivery at the Tilton (N.H.) store. So, he had been sent there from the Gilford store. Another driver was supposed to take care of our delivery. He had too much to do & didn’t get to us.

He apologized. He knew that there were issues. He knew that there was a driver shortage. He knew that Lowe’s was blaming XPO. He did a good job. Nice young guy.

Soon after we got a call from XPO. A Mr. James Kinney, XPO’s Director in charge of NE operations. He was good. Very professional. He was familiar with what had happened. He apologized. Agreed that it was unacceptable. He wanted to make amends. I was impressed. He did XPO proud.

So, that is where we are.

XPO has major issues with their Call Center. That Call Center will be the end of them.

Well it appears that XPO, Lowe’s & even the contract company ALL KNOW that they have an issue on their hands. I am just relieved to have got my shipment — 120′ of chain-link panels for an outdoor pen for Rowen.

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by Anura Guruge

The New Garmin Venu 2: Two 3rd-Party Watch Faces & Customized ‘Walk’ Screens.

by Anura Guruge

The above is the ‘Rails‘ watch face — which I have been favoring all day.

The ‘Data Lover’ watch face — which I am getting quite partial to, but, for now ‘Rails’ is winning.

The ‘Always On’ displays I have chosen with these two watch faces. The ‘Rails‘ ‘hollow time’ on the left. ‘Data Lover’ is more customizable (though ‘Rails’ does give you the option of always having the full watch face on, all the time).

I customized the 4 data screens you get for ‘Walk’. You can ONLY have 4 fields per screen. I would have preferred the 6 that you can get on the Fenix & Enduro.

I customized the 4 data screens you get for ‘Walk‘. I am quite pleased in that I managed to get in everything I absolutely need, i.e., steps, distance (in miles), elapsed time, time-of-day (TOD).

I am not that fussed about the other fields, though I do occasionally look at my heart rate (HR).

Pace is kind of immaterial in that I am always going as fast as I can … as fast as I want. I am NOT going to increase my pace because of the reading.

I picked ‘heading’ because that was about the only pertinent data field left. I have no interest in calories.

‘Elevation’ is kind of nice to have.

I got this new Venu 2, two-days ago, thanks to my good friends at ‘HRM USA‘. SMILE.

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by Anura Guruge

Armful Garmin Smartwatches: Venu 2, ENDURO & Fenix 6 Pro (Titanium).

by Anura Guruge

Click to access the ‘HRM USA’ site to check out the Venu 2.

Yes, ALL thanks to my friends at ‘HRM USA‘. SMILE.

The Garmin Venu 2 was new as of yesterday.

Got the Garmin ENDURO 41-days ago.

Have had the Fenix 6 Pro (Titanium) since November 2019! The LONGEST I have ever had Garmin for. It is my backup watch.

This is my total Garmin collection at present. Since 2017 I have owned/tried 14 Garmin smartwatches.

Don’t have space more anymore right now.

Not sure what I will do when the Fenix 7 is introduced — as it surely will be.

So far, I am in awe of the Venu 2, but not sure whether I will keep it.

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by Anura Guruge

I Now Get To Check Out The Brand New ‘Garmin’, Bright AMOLED-Display ‘Venu 2’, Thanks To ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA’ (HRM USA).

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE & Admire.

Click to access the ‘HRM USA’ site to check out the Venu 2.
Click to access the ‘HRM USA’ site to place an order for a Venu 2.

The ‘Venu 2’ (far right) next to my Garmin ‘Fenix 6 Pro Titanium’ (middle) & Garmin ‘Enduro’ (Titanium).

I am yet again thrilled & GRATEFUL to ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ (HRM USA) for giving me the chance to try out the latest & greatest ‘Garmin‘, the new ‘Venu 2’ with an absolutely gorgeous, very bright (even at the lowest brightness level) AMOLED-display. I haven’t really had a chance to put it through its paces or check its accuracy, but it sure looks & feels spectacular. Nice, ultra-modern feel to it.

I think I am going to like it. Markedly different to the original ‘Venu’ & unlike the ‘Venu SQ’ this one does have a barometric altimeter so that it can count ‘floors climbed’.

I will start testing it in earnest as of tomorrow. I will, of course, keep you posted. That is what I do. SMILE.

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by Anura Guruge

One FULL-YEAR Of Walking At Least 12,000 Steps A Day — Without A Single Exception.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Prior to April 17, 2020, I had this notion of a ‘Day Off’. One day of reduced exercise to give my muscles a chance to rest. It was 3-days on (i.e., of exercise), 1-day off. That meant I exercised 6-days out of 7. I had been doing that for decades — BUT that was when I used to run/jog.

But, after I busted my quadricep tendon, which required major knee surgery, & as I approached 65, I transitioned to WALKING. Yes, there is a difference in the effort & energy expended.

So, I decided that the ‘Day Off’ shouldn’t mean I did less than 10,000-steps, actually 12,000 steps.

Once I dropped this ‘Day Off’ I noticed I was getting close to 500,000 steps a months. COOL.

A NEW GOAL: 500,000-steps a month.

Yes., 500,000 steps a month is easier in months with 31-days.

I was REAL concerned about February; 28 days & COLD. But, I prevailed.

During this year I had three (3) cataract surgeries — they had to operate on my right eye TWICE. Well, I still managed to get in my at least 12,000 steps a day even on those days. The surgeon knew of my desire to walk & as such added some EXTRA STITCHES to keep the lens in place. He took them out, with teezers, when I went in for my check-in.

So, that was last year.

I feel good. I feel great. You should try it.

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by Anura Guruge

Las Vegas Shouldn’t Just Ban ‘Ornamental’ Grass, They Should Also Ban Non-Native Exotic Plants In Casinos.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE & read here.

I was amused to read about this proposed ban of ‘grass that is NOT walked upon‘. Great idea. Bravo. The initial article I read, in a U.K. tabloid, just said that Las Vegas wants to ban grass. I genuinely thought that they were talking about a different type of ‘grass’ & was confused since I had assumed that Las Vegas must be all in favor of that.

I used to go to Las Vegas, on business, 4 to 6 times a year in the 1990s — mainly to conduct stand-up seminars or to attend trade shows. I used to notice that I invariably had ‘cold symptoms’ when I was in Las Vegas. I initially blamed it on the ubiquitous air conditioning. It was not fun bit feeling 100% since most times I had to be on my feet, presenting with gusto, for 6 – 7 hours a day.

So, one day I looked it up. BINGO. High pollen counts in the casinos (which, of course, is where I would be) due to all the non-native EXOTIC plants. Bingo. That was the problem. This was prior to the days when I started taking a Zyrtec everyday (as I have for the last 8-years, or so).

It is crazy. Yes, it looks awfully pretty & impressive, BUT do we need all these plants?

I am glad that Las Vegas has started to think about this problem. Bravo. I like Las Vegas.

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by Anura Guruge

‘Synesthesia’ — When One Sense Automatically & Always Also Invokes Another.

by Anura Guruge

I am pretty sure I had never heard of ‘synesthesia’ before coming across it in “Sam Kean’s” book “The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons” I started reading last week. I am big fan of “Sam Kean”.

I heard an excerpt from one of his books on NPR a few years ago, & knew at once that I needed to read that book. As is my won’t I bought all three of his then published books at the same time. Here they are:

I learnt a lot from his ‘The Disappearing Spoon‘ — which was the first one I chose to read. Until I read it in the book I had never heard of ‘Argyria‘ (i.e., permanently turning blue from ingesting too much silver) or how our brains need iodine in order to function satisfactorily.

So now I have learnt about ‘synesthesia‘, i.e., when one sense invokes another, e.g., seeing different colors when they hear noise. Franz Liszt (1811 — 1886), the Hungarian composer, had synesthesia. He was as such a synesthete. But, there are lots of other forms. Some might see colored shapes floating around them while having sex.

Wikipedia as a fairly decent article about it. Start there if you are interested — & you should be.

LSD, I also learnt, invokes temporary synesthesia! Didn’t, of course, know that either.

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by Anura Guruge

“Shibboleth”, A Lovely, Powerful Word That I Discovered Today.

by Anura Guruge

This NBC post is where I saw. Click on image to access the original story.

I came across it in the above NBC post. Stopped me dead in my tracks. I could not recall ever coming across that word. Something about it. It sounded so evocative. Had to look it up.

Its meaning blew me away. WOW. What a great word. I am bummed that I had never come across it before.

I love words. I love names — which also happen to be words.

I had to share this word with YOU.

I discovered that it was Biblical. Yes, I can see the Hebrew origins.

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by Anura Guruge

All The Cricket Action Is Now On ‘ESPN+’, NOT ‘Willow TV’; ‘Willow’ TV Is Sucking Wind.

by Anura Guruge

There is plenty of LIVE cricket again
BUT NOT on Willow TV.

It would appear that Willow TV screwed up BIG TIME when it came to getting 2021 cricket series coverage licenses.

They have NO REAL, i.e., MEN’s International, cricket for the next 3.5-months. But, in the meantime some hard to ignore series are taking place: West Indies vs Sri Lanka T20 & Australia vs New Zealand. In past years these would have been on Willow TV. They had the ‘franchise’ for all those countries. But, not right now.

So, a BIG Heads Up. Don’t sign-up (or RENEW) Willow TV before checking what is coming up.

I was FORCED to check ESPN+. 12-, 13-years ago ESPN+ carried a lot of cricket. Then the likes of Willow stepped in. The tide seems to be turning again.

So, as I said, a Heads Up.

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Search ‘cricket’, ‘Willow TV’ & ‘Sling’.

by Anura Guruge

I Get To Check Out The New ‘Garmin’, Ultra-Long Battery Life, ‘Enduro’, Thanks To ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA’ (HRM USA).

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the ‘HRM USA’ product page.

Side-by-side with my ‘Garmin’ ‘Fenix 6 Pro Solar‘.

I am thrilled & GRATEFUL to ‘Heart Rate Monitors USA‘ (HRM USA) for giving me the chance to try out the latest & greatest ‘Garmin‘, the ultraperformace ‘Enduro’ with an insanely long battery life.

It is an impressive watch, out-of-the-box — as you would expect from a $899, Titanium-bezel smartwatch. It is also BIG as you will be able to tell from the pictures. It is the same size as a Garmin Fenix 6X or 5X. I have never owned (or even tried out) a Fenix ‘X’. As you can see I have dainty wrists. But, I kind of LIKE the Enduro. It sure has presence.

Right now (i.e., today) — & for the next couple of days — I will be putting the Enduro through its paces SIDE-by-SIDE with my trusted Fenix 6 Pro Solar. I like to check & calibrate steps, heart rate, floors climbed etc. (Actually that is part of my self-created ‘brief’. I like to report back to HRM USA on smartwatch accuracy. They find the data useful to have.)

So far, so good.

Setting it up was a BREEZE. Garmin is getting slicker & slicker. Very smooth. Paired with my Android Google Pixel 5 in ‘seconds’. Good. Impressive. I am pleased.

I will, of course, keep you posted. That is what I do. SMILE.

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by Anura Guruge