Tag Archives: Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower Was Open To The Public This Day, 127-Years Ago — March 31, 1889.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower

Click to access the OFFICIAL Eiffel Tower Website.

I have a long personal relationship with the Eiffel Tower given that I have spent a lot of time in Paris (or its suburbs).

I first visited Paris in 1967 on our way from Ceylon to Buffalo, New York.

I lived, full-time in Louveciennes, a town between Paris and Versailles, full-time, and attended the ‘English School of Paris‘ from August 1968 to September 1969.

Then, after a stint in New Delhi, my adoptive parents moved to Paris, full-time, as diplomats, from 1978 to 1992. I was living in Britain at the time and would visit at least 3 times a year, typically for at least a week at a time. My parents lived in two different apartments in Paris. Both had views of the Eiffel Tower. In one, I could lay in the guest bedroom bed and see the Tower. That was cool.

As of about 1984 my THING was to CLIMB the Tower. Yes, you were able to climb up to the 2nd floor observation deck and climb down. So, rather than taking the elevator I would climb. There were days when I would climb it twice. Climbing is fun because you really get to enjoy the scenery. I can’t remember the ‘deal’. I want to say that it was FREE to climb BUT I could be wrong there. Cost was not a factor in those days. Typically my mother insisted on paying for everything and my adoptive parents were rich.

You weren’t allowed to climb above the 2nd platform THOUGH there is, of course, stairs going ALL the way to the top. Gustave Eiffel had his office right at the top and would CLIMB to/from there multiple times a day.

Ahhh! The Eiffel Tower.

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by Anura Guruge

My Worst Nightmare — Being Trapped In An Elevator Till You Die!

by Anura Guruge

Click here to access the U.K. “Daily Mail” original
from March 6, 2016.

Click image to ENLARGE and enjoy here.


I have some degree of claustrophobia. It is not major but there are situations that make me uncomfortable. Long ago I discovered that I do not like enclosed elevators — precisely because of this nightmare. I would not do well trapped in an elevator. I do know folks who have been trapped — albeit never for that long — and I have nothing but utmost respect for them. If at all possible I try not to be in an elevator on my own and whenever I get into one I make sure that I know where the emergency button is and if there is a phone. Given the option I would rather take the stairs than use an elevator — and part of that is that, just one of my manifold foibles, I do like to climb/run up stairs. Eight or nine floors is not a problem. When my adopted parents lived in Paris, which they did for 18 years, I would regularly climb to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower — sometimes doing it twice a day. I have walked up 18 floors, in London, carrying a 30lb Datascope (an early network diagnostic tool).

My heart bleed for this poor lady. Shouldn’t somebody have heard her. A month.

Only in China. Now I feel GUILTY that we too partook in the Chinese New Year while this poor lady was dying! I hope the negligent workers are thrown in jail, ideally in solitary for months on end.

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by Anura Guruge

We Are Now A ‘FitBit Ultra’ Couple — NOT!

The exact ‘blue’ and ‘pink’ FitBits we have.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.


by Anura Guruge

No, no, to every ones amazement, especially Deanna’s sister who was adamant we would not last a year, we are still together, BUT I ditched my FitBit Ultra 33 days after Deanna gave it to me. It just won’t Synch and that drives me nuts. So here is one post of my frustrations with FitBit on October 5, 2012. I will write another post as to how and why I finally dumped it. Thanks.

It was my 59th birthday on Tuesday (which was the excuse for the whale watch and Dim Sum). In addition to a British style garden gnome (given that I got very nostalgic when we watched ‘Gnomeo and Juliet‘) which was very cute and 100% accurate (though made in China), I, to my surprise, also got a ‘blueFitBit Ultra. Wow.

Click ….

Last year, because she found a free 12 month offer, I was getting ‘Maxium‘. It was never a magazine I was ever partial to. To me it is a compromise magazine for nerds in glasses who are petrified of girls. But, I was delighted to find that it actually had some decent articles and reviews — especially on high-tech nerdy gizmos. That is how I found the FitBit.

After her back surgery Deanna was back to exercising and the FitBit looked neat. It is basically a fancy, electronic, USB-equipped [i.e., plugs into a PC] pedometer — on steroids. I looked it up; it was available from Amazon and I got it for her for Christmas 2011. She loves it. Over the Summer she has been uttering phrases along the lines that it is her most treasured possession! It never leaves her side. She even sleeps with it — because it monitors sleep patterns (another rationale for getting one for her). She lost it earlier in the Summer. She was beside herself. We looked everywhere. I told her to get another one. Three or four days later she found it among her clothes. We still have a few scares, especially after we have been to the beach — the kids very used to the cry: ‘have you seen my FitBit’.

Though I run around 2 miles, up a steep hill (Prospect Mountain Road) wearing weights, 5 to 6 days a week and swam nearly every day during the Summer (including this Monday, though the water is now noticeably cold), not to mention going up and down the 3 flights of staircases we have in this 4 story house more than most because my ‘office’ is on the 4th floor, Deanna loves to accuse me of being sedentary! So getting me a FitBit was a way for her to see how physically idle I really am. So yesterday was the first day I wore it. I don’t know how it gets calibrated because there is no calibration process, e.g., measuring your average stride. So, just like a computer mouse it must have a few small accelerometers that measure movement. Yesterday evening we both took two short. controlled walks to see if our 2 FitBits measured the same number of steps. They seem to. Going out we kind of walked independently, though we were supposed to walk the same. Per the FitBits we were 10 steps out, I taking more. Coming back Deanna made sure she matched me step-for-step. FitBits matched!

So all the data is available to see on the FitBit by pressing the one and only button it has. But, you can also have it uploaded into your account at FitBit.com. I am having problems getting my FitBit to synch. Could be the USB connection. Since I am loath to install ANY non-mission critical software on my work PC, I installed the FitBit software on one of my backup computers — this one running Windows XP so I can use FrontPage 2003 for my Web updates. So, this is what it has for me for yesterday, September 5, 2012:

I am not 100% sure, as yet, about the veracity of the figures. I am not sure I really traveled, using my feet, 4.15 miles. Yes, I ran ~2.25 miles. Floors climbed is a calculated height based on angle of elevation and something like 10′ rise. Running up the hill fudges that number. Climbing up to the top of the Seattle Space Needle doesn’t impress me. I used to regularly climb to the 2nd observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. 2,304 calories burned is average for an old guy like me. It would appear that I would have burned about that anyway.Devanee cracked me up. She is the master of the FitBit having studied the mother’s for so long. But, she didn’t know what the FLAME symbol stood for. She called it ‘Heartburn’! So, she goes you had 2,000 heartburns.

So … that is it. We are the FitBit couple now.