Tag Archives: I-93

7 Bonus Pictures With My Sony a7 II — June 11, 2018.

by Anura Guruge

NO post-processing whatsoever.

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

reflections on a coach New Hampshire Anura Guruge Sony a7 II

Related posts:
Check Categories ‘Sony’ & ‘Six Images’.

by Anura Guruge

For The Last 48 Hours, Especially This Morning, I Have CRINGED For South Africa.


Anura Guruge

No, I have not been to South Africa. But, I am no stranger to S.A. Obviously it is part of MY Commonwealth and they are Test playing nation — that is also pretty damn good at rugby. In the 1980s I was ‘associated’ (that is probably the best word) with a South African living in London, an ex-IBMer like me. I have also known a few others from there, one of them being my primary contact for a company in MN that I did a load of writing. Moreover, four (4) of my all time heroes are South African. Nelson, of course. I watched his release (and I still remember all 2 hours of it). I cried when he walked out. I cried when he was elected President. I will cry when he dies, as he must — though I am not known for crying when people die (firmly believing that death is an integral part of life). I am also particularly fond of Desmond Tutu. I have this picture of Desmond on my PC — and trust me, you have to be special to have your picture saved on this PC. And then there is Barry Richards and Mike Proctor.

DesmondTAs soon as the Blade Runner was arrested for the alleged murder of his model girlfriend, I told Deanna: ‘He will walk‘!

Two days after the famous ‘White Bronco’ chase I told my ex-brother-in-law, a lawyer, that OJ will walk. And walk he did. My brother-in-law was pretty impressed.

South Africa, alas, does not have a sterling record when it comes to violence against women. But, before we start crowing, neither does New Hampshire. I have been meaning to tackle this at some point. I am aware of three women that have died in NH, in the Lakes Region, in the last 6 years — and nobody has gone on trial as yet. Who am I talking about: the nurse murdered in Wolfeboro, the ex-wife of the car dealer shot in Gilford and I am referring to this accident in 2009 when the Former Miss NH was killed in a car crash. We actually knew the driver involved. He was an (ex-)pilot. As soon as I heard of the accident and the conditions in which it happened — I was mortified. There were things I worried about. So, we have to search our souls about what is happening in NH before we criticize S.A. too much.

BUT, you might find it interesting to read about S. Africa’s current President, Jacob Zuma, a confirmed polygamist and a serial-parallel adulterer. [And at this stage Deanna will start laughing.]

Anyway, why was I cringing?

CNN’s, obsessive, non-stop coverage of the bail hearing has cast S.A. in a very poor light. I feel bad about that.

They have come a long way. There is still a long road that they have to walk.

I am happy to see black natives in power. But, many of them are still learning the ropes. I saw and heard the Police Commissioner for S.A. yesterday. I was so embarrassed for her. I can relate. English is not my first language either, and I too speak with a heavy accent. But, I am not the Commissioner of Police. She should have spoken in Afrikaans and let the media translate. Same this morning with the RAMBLING, egocentric babbling of the magistrate. Oh, dear. I felt so bad for the South Africans. They are not bad people. Invariably they are fun, good people. Many have hearts of gold. Yes, that magistrate made O.J.’s Judge Ito look and sound like a scholar and that takes some doing.

A shame. So, the blade runner will walk. We in NH need to do something about these women that have got killed. Nelson, alas, will die and I will cry. So too will Tutu. I will probably cry too. South Africa is on the right track. But, they have a long way to go. One piece of advice to the officials: IF Afrikaans is your mother tongue, talk in Afrikaans when you are being interviewed. It will give you some credibility.

NH Highland Games At Loon, 2012: Weather, Parking, Groups, Celtica and The Brigadoons.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
NH Highland Games At Loon, 2012: The Featured Band Is ‘Carnegie Mellon University Pipes & Drums’Sept. 16, 2012.
Updates: Laconia Multicultural Day September 8 & NH Highland Games At Loon September 21 …, 2012Sept. 5, 2012.
New Hampshire (NH) Highland Games, At Loon, September 21 – 23August 17, 2012.

Celtica, the featured group at the NH Highland Games 2012: Click image to access YouTube video of Celtica

In terms of weather, it looks like there is an equal chance of rain showers (in the morning/afternoon) on both days; Saturday being much warmer than Sunday.No hurricanes, however. That is always a plus; having done the games twice during or right after an hurricane; the first time before that had the ‘Concert Tent’, which came to be the next year after the chaos of trying to put on a show without enough covered area. [Yes, we even got dragged to the school in Lincoln for a performance!]

But, Saturday’s tend to be packed and you pay $15 MORE per ticket (adults only, kids always free) for the privilege. Yes, they have the Clan Parade and Massed Bands — but as I have already stated there isn’t a great slate of marching bands this year. Sunday, post 4pm, you also get all the hard-to-resist ‘give away’ sales at the food booths. Yes, I love those. Three sausage rolls $5 as opposed to $4.50 for one. We are still torn as to whether to go on Saturday or Sunday. Going today, Friday, was no longer an option because of school. We like Fridays — less crowds, full program of bands and the sheep dogs.

Celtica, supposedly the featured band for 2012, is also only playing Friday and Saturday. I went and found them on YouTube. They sound OK … shades of ‘Seven Nations‘ and a toned-downRed-Hot Chilli Pipers‘ (who made it rather clear last year that they were not coming back). Despite what the organizers like to tell us, groups as soon as they get a name stop coming to Loon. This by all accounts is considered a ‘small’ show of little consequences.

After about 3 minutes of Celtica, I realized what was missing. No vocals. Then it cracked me up. Read the first comment on YouTube against the above video: ‘Celtica needs vocals‘. I concur. I think 40 minutes of them on top of Albannach will get tedious. I think I have seen both Searson and Hardrian’s Wall before, but I am holding up hope for them.

Scheduling continues to deteriorate and confound. On Saturday they have Albannach playing in the ‘Concert Tent’ at the same time as the Clan Parade and Roll-Call. This is stupid. I have seen them do this before. This is not fair to anybody. People are conflicted and you have the group and the bands on the Parade Ground competing for sound with each other. Plus during the speeches, even if there are solemn moments, you have Albannach pounding away behind you.

On Saturday, my perennially favorite The Brigadoons don’t get a slot in the ‘Concert Tent’. Yes, I know they are old and have been playing there continuously for 20 odd years. But, they still represent quintessential, unadulterated Celtic music. They represent the tradition, the roots, the essence. They still draw a faithful crowd.

All said I am getting increasingly disillusioned by organization of the Highland Games at Loon, and given that I have been attending since 1998 (only missing one, and that was because I could not take it when it was at the dirt and cow manure in Hopkington) I think I am entitled to a say. It is not complacency. There is some cynicism. They are selling us old rope knowing that there are so many who love the games. So they don’t see a need to reinvigorate, to rejuvenate. I wish they would make a concerted attempt to make the games bigger and better. I will do a report card after we get back.

I saw a query here about parking. Unless you have VIP credentials you are not going to be able to park in or near the Loon complex. Period. Parking on Rte 112 (Main St.)/Kancamagus Highway is not permitted for miles before and after Loon; it is taped off, by the police (and strictly enforced). Yes, in 1998, I parked right next to the Loon bridge on the road. The next year I talked an attendant into letting me park inside Loon. Those days are gone. Park-and-Ride is the only way to do it, unless you are a VIP. There are at least 3 ‘Park-and-Ride’ sites — starting at the I-93 exit. We use the last one — by the ‘Inn Season’ hotel and Lincoln Shopping Center; but we haven’t been to the games on a Saturday in a long time. So not sure whether it gets full, though it, encompassing 3 fields, is HUGE.

Click to see ‘The Brigadoons’ at Loon in 2011 (on YouTube) sans my ‘buddy’ Jackie (electric bass) who passed away a couple of years ago. Miss Jackie. Chatting with him was the highlight of MY games.