Tag Archives: ITT

Poor John Lennon, Of ‘The Beatles’, Was Murdered This Day, 37-Years Ago; December 8, 1980.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE. Wikipedia: /en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_John_Lennon

They say that people remember when they were when they heard that President John K. Kennedy had been shot on November 22, 1963. I do too. I was in Ceylon, all of 10-years old. My adoptive father got a phone call. I don’t know from whom. Then he came and sat down and said: ‘President Kennedy had been shot‘.

I was 27-years old when John Lennon got killed. I remember that more graphically.

We, and by that I mean MOST Brits living in Great Britain at the time, did not hear about the tragic shooting until the next day, Tuesday, December 9, 1980. That was because the shooting took place in New York at 10:50pm U.S. Eastern Time. It was already Tuesday morning in Britain.

I heard the news, that totally shattered me, on my company car radio, around 8am, while seated in traffic, in north London trying to get to work at ITT in Cockfosters. I can still see it in my mind’s eye. Me sitting in traffic. Yet another damp, dark, dreary December morning. It was all shades of grey and brown. I sat there in shock.

Wow. 37-years ago.

Related Posts:
Search on ‘Beatles’.
++++ Check Category ‘Events’.

by Anura Guruge

Ford Motor Company Came To Be This Day, 114-Years Ago — Same Day As IBM, But 8-Years Earlier!

by Anura Guruge

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

I had a Ford Cortina, as a company car, for awhile, when I worked for ITT. I might have had a Granada too, as a company car, but I can’t be 100% sure.

As far as I know that is the only Ford car I have ‘owned’. I don’t think I have anything against Ford. I would drive a Mustang.

Related Posts:
Search on ‘IBM’ for many other posts >>>>
++++ Check Category ‘Events’ for other related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Mercedes-Benz CONFIRMS My Long-Held Assertion That Those That Drive Their Cars Are Mentally Challenged.

Click to ENLARGE. Note the 3-pointed badge.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
. .
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Proof that Mercedes-Benz drivers are clueless.
>> Superdome Named After A German Car Manufacturer.
>>  Volkswagen’s Super Bowl XLVII ‘Jamaican’ Ad.

Search ‘German for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE and enjoy here. Use link below to access the Mercedes-Benz original.

Click here for the Mercedes-Benz original IF you want further proof.

Quod erat demonstrandum

What more do I have to say?

I might not be the brightest bulb out there, BUT I do NOT
need any technology to help me
when I am driving.

They are, to folks with even a modicum of gray matter, fairly easy to spot.

Just further proof of my long held contention.

People who buy German cars are clueless.

What do I have AGAINST German cars.



I visited Liverpool for the first time in 1980. I was the Customer Support Manager for ITT (U.K.) and I had to meet with some customers, waterfront. As usual I drove. I think I was driving a Gold 2L Ford Cortina, my company car at the time. As I was driving into the city I could see all these desolate, empty spaces. Complete blocks with nothing on them. I wasn’t sure what the deal was. At lunch, and my job as Customer Support Manager, was 50% entertainment, I asked the Liverpudlians what the empty spaces were all about. There was a silence for a second. They all looked at me. Well they kind of knew I wasn’t totally stupid. They also recognized that I had not grown up in Britain, and that I was NOT being funny. They then all jumped in at once and went onto explain that those were still the unbuilt lots after the WW II blitz. I was stunned. WW II had ended 35 years earlier. I had never seen any major WW II damage in London. This was an EYE OPENER.

On the way back I stopped at one of these empty lots and got out of the car. It was a strange feeling. A tangible connection with WW II. I was born 8 years after the War. But standing there was very profound. It annoyed me no end that the Germans had done this to Liverpool, to the British and as such also to I. That is when I avowed that I will do my best never to buy anything German. It was MY small way of showing my respects to what I saw in Liverpool.

I have been good to my word (as I tend to be). A few years later, in what was meant to be a big ‘honor’ I was given, by CASE Communications, a Mercedes Benz as a company car. I kept it for 2 months. But, NOTE I did not buy it. It was given to me and it was meant to be a FAVOR. A recognition. Yes, I have driven German cars. But they do nothing for me. Yes, I have been to Germany more times than most. But Germany doesn’t appeal to me much — though I do recognize that it is beautiful country. The images of Liverpool STILL haunt me.

I worked with a very rich Jew. He was always going on about the Nazi persecution of Jews. But one day it occurred to me that this guy, for all of his talk, owned over $100K in German cars. So one day when I was talking to him on the phone, and in those days we spoke quite often, I said: “G** have you worked out how much the German cars you have parked in your driveway, right now, must cost?” He thought for a minute and replied: “Those 3 must have cost at least $75K” — and we are talking 15 years ago. I then asked: “WHY?”

So that is why I continue to make fun of those that by German cars — and that used to include, to his annoyance and sometimes embarrassment, my adoptive (now late) father.

More Tips On MASTERING E-Mails: The 3rd MOST Valuable Piece Of Professional Advice I Received.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Getting your FACTS RIGHT re. e-mails — Nov. 2, 2013.
++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

I was told this, one morning in 1981, in Cockfosters (I kid you not), N. London, by Chris James, my 2nd-line manager (actually a Director) at ITT Data Systems (U.K.) [by FAR the BEST and FUN company I have ever worked for and I worked for quite a few including IBM, Wang, Northern Telecom & BBN.]

telex-largeChris, who went onto become a mega success in networking was a remarkable man; beyond clever, very funny and extremely kind. He taught me a lot about a bunch of things — plus some very valuable pointers I never forgot about how to fill in expense reports, ‘correctly’, so that they would never be denied! In my youth, I really was blessed. I had some AMAZING bosses who went out of their way to help me — given that I needed as much help as I could get.

In 1981 there was no widespread e-mail per se (though I had started using a very primitive messaging scheme at IBM in 1976 to communicate with R&D peers at a sister IBM Lab. in Japan about the new 3270 system we were working on). Instead what we had was TELEXES — ITT a leading provider of Telex solutions. Telexes were a grandiose form of telegrams. It was all paper and paper tape. I still get very nostalgic when I think of Telexes — since, as you might have guessed, I was a huge user of telexes. At ITT we had a Telex room with a bunch of very nice young ladies. We also had Telex forms. You wrote out your Telex on a form, with the ‘To:s’ and the ‘CC:s’ AND their Telex phone numbers, and then took it down to be typed; BCC was a bit difficult with Telex. In my case, given that I would have a long distribution list and my propensity for resending stuff etc. etc., the girls wouldn’t bang it out and transmit it (there being a small amount of memory to retain a copy). They would first transcribe it onto paper tape. Then they could reuse it! It was very clever.

So on that day I was sitting in Chris’ office and he got a long Telex delivered. He started reading it … That is when he looked up, with his habitual grin on his face, and told me the above … The next few days I put it to the test. Chris, as ever, WAS RIGHT.

Even today, 30 years later, as soon as I get an e-mail the FIRST thing I read is the DISTRIBUTION LIST.

Ditto when I send an e-mail. I check the distribution list carefully BEFORE I hit send. I might forget an attachment BUT rarely, if ever, do I screw up when it comes to who I send e-mails.

The 2nd most valuable piece of professional I got was also at ITT, Cockfosters. This time it was by my 1st line manager, Steve Kane. Steve was amazing. He had a degree in philosophy and was incredibly astute. He really understood who people thought and as such knew exactly who to deal with them. Steve was VERY GOOD TO ME. He made me the U.K. Customer Support Manager for ITT Data Systems (U.K.) the night before my 27th birthday — so that I would be able to boast that I became an ITT Manager at 26! That is Steve. Always thinking of how to motivate and reward people.

As Customer Support Manager, with about 6 top-notch software engineers working for me, and a client base that included Xerox, Exxon, Ford, British Leyland, British Petroleum etc. etc., I used to have to deal with a whole bunch of ‘problems’ on a daily basis. One day I was getting beaten up, badly, by Ford. We were having a problem and we just didn’t have a quick fix. So as the Support Manager they were unloading on me. I was 27 and was getting ‘upset’. Steve calls me in. He then basically told me, his training in philosophy again at the forefront:

“Anu, there is really NO POINT worrying about work-related problems. If you want to worry about things worry about stuff that is not work-related. Work-related problems come and go. A year from today I can call you in and ask you what you were worrying about ON THIS DAY — and you will NOT REMEMBER. In the same way IF I asked you what you were working on a year ago today you won’t remember unless you go look it up. So, REMEMBER THE ONE YEAR RULE. You will not remeber work-related problems a year from now. So don’t let them bother you.”

Yes, of course, I know that there can be exceptions. But, this made sense — like nearly all things Steve Kane would tell me. I paid heed. I even, given my then very good, semi-photographic memory, tried to keep track of work-related ‘problems’ on a year basis. In those days I never maintained a paper appointments book or diary BUT would remember 3 weeks of travel, appointments and meetings in my HEAD (to the annoyance of all, especially my dear Secretary). My memory was that good. I or my secretary wrote all my commitments on a huge, purple, wall chart in my room. I would look at it when I was in my office and I could then SEE IT in my minds eye just like a photograph! But, even with that memory Steve Kane’s 1-year rule was good.

In the ensuing 3 decades I have conveyed Steve’s words of wisdom to hundreds of others.

Many have agreed that it made sense — and that it helped them.

Thank YOU, Steve. So that was #2.

The very, very BEST professional advice I ever had, and I would NOT BE HERE if not for it, was from my 1st ever boss, the inimitable Les B. of IBM Hursely.

I have told this story in print a number of times, so I am going to keep it short.

I joined IBM on August 27, 1974 — exactly a week ahead of my 21st birthday. It was my very 1st job of any sort.

A couple of months into the job a uniformed security guard came to see me and handed me a REGISTERED CONFIDENTIAL document — one of the highest levels of secure documents at IBM, hence the personal hand-delivery by a uniformed guard. WHY I got that Registered Confidential document that day is still a mystery! I think it was a mistake. IF I believed in spiritual stuff I would call it providential.

The document was about something called ‘SNA‘ — and that henceforth it would stand for ‘Systems Network Architecture‘ as opposed to ‘SINGLE Network Architecture‘. This had to do with the anti-trust law suit that plagued IBM in those days and influenced each and every decision.

I was NOT working on SNA. I had never heard of SNA. I was still brand new.

I went to see Les. Les was the epitome of an ‘open door’, very relaxed, VERY SOCIAL manager. I walk in with the document in my hand … and start: “Hey, Les, I just got this about S.N. …”

I never got to get out the “A”. Les, waving his hand dismissively, cut me off.

He said:

“Ahh! Forget about it.

I was 21. I had been a rebel for the last 5 years. I might have got my hair cut (after 2 years) and was wearing a tie — but the rebellious instincts were still there.

Something told me that this was my destiny.

I walked straight out of Les’ office to the Hursley Library — which happened to be nearby. In those days before the Internet, I used to spend a lot of time in libraries. So already the Head Librarian knew me well. I went up to her and asked her to order me (as all of us IBM employees were allowed to do) any INTRODUCTORY manuals that IBM had on SNA.

Two weeks later I got, in an envelope, a thin 32 page, RED covered “SNA: An Introduction”. I read it in one go. Made sense though I wasn’t sure what it was all about!

Over the next 30 years SNA made me what I am.

SNA from the early 1980s to 2000 was HUGE.

It was THE networking scheme prior to the Internet.

Thanks to Les’ advice I was, the uncontested, ‘Mr. SNA’, during that time.

Google it.

Why NO Beaujolais Nouveau Day Parties In New Hampshire? Are We That Provincial?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Beaujolais Nouveau Day 2013
Oct. 17, 2013.
>> My review of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

>>  2012 — Nov. 15, 2012.
Search on Nouveau for ALL the 2012 posts
and there were many >>>>

This is what they had in Philly last year.

This is what they had in Philly last year.

I just did a Google to see if there were any Beaujolais Nouveau Day Parties in New Hampshire last year. I couldn’t find any and I wasn’t aware of any, though I know that our NH Liquor Stores did a tasting or something.

This needs to be rectified. We are not that provincial, are we?

I used to host Beaujolais Nouveau Day parties in London — but, I was a Customer Support Manager, with a mandate and at least when I worked for ITT, an unlimited budget, to keep the customers happy, whatever it took.

I am going to contact Julie at Giuseppe’s (Meredith) and see if she is interested.

I will also contact Daryl Eames of iHeartDining and see if he can pull some strings.

IF you are interested let me know. I am going to try and rectify this.

It Sure Is Cold. I Vetoed My 5°F (-15°C) Threshold And Went Running At Noon When It Was 3°F (-16°C).


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Wow. It Is Cold Up Here … — Jan. 3, 2013.

My usual route up Prospect Mountain. This was not from today. Today was bright blue, cloudless skies. Click to ENLARGE.

My usual route up Prospect Mountain. This was not from today. Today was bright blue, cloudless skies. Click to ENLARGE.

Lactogen baby

‘Lactogen Baby’, 1954 to 1962, Ceylon, ad, with this picture, with the heading ‘Baby Guruge’, appeared in 12 newspapers, in 3 languages, every day. ‘Lactogen’ was a Swiss baby formula company. My father, the clever one in the family, declined any monies from them! He said that he was ‘OK’. I was chubby even then, though I was born very sickly, physically twisted (arms and legs intertwined) and unable to pee. This was my maternal grandmother’s work and she mainly used coconut oil! Once I started eating she fattened me up on a strict diet of eggs, chocolate, meat, fish, rice and lentils. My mother made me fancy cakes and puddings. I was doomed from birth.

I had come up with the must be 5°F (-15°C) or warmer threshold somewhere in 2003 or 2004 when we had a long stretch of really cold weather and people said I was crazy to go running in such cold weather. My contacts used to freeze too, which was not that funny. So, I have lived by that 5°F rule, quite happily, for a long time — until today.

Today, I no longer had a choice. I have to exercise. I have to lose weight. I have to cut back on eating. I have to say no to Carbs. Today, I got the dreaded results. I am now officially pre-diabetic. I have been waiting for this day for 43 years!

I was 7 when my uncle, my mother’s older brother, a gifted doctor, who had birthed me, said out of the blue, when all of us were seated around one evening: ‘Well, YOU are going to be diabetic. Stop taking any sugar. You might as well also stop taking salt’. I was 7 and there was nothing much wrong with me at that stage. I was still the ‘Lactogen Baby‘! But, there is a bad diabetes on both side of the family. So, I was not going to escape.

So, for 43 years, I have been waiting for my uncle’s prediction to come true. He was a pretty amazing doctor — physicians to Prime Ministers, Governor Generals and Presidents, and, of course, me.

I have to lose weight — fast. By my own standards I am borderline obese. My BMI is 26.6. I need to get down to 169 lbs. I think I was 165 lbs, 10 years ago, when we got married.

I need to lose 11 pounds. That will get me the 25 BMI. If I cutout all carbs, which I can easily do, and have done, I can drop 5 within a couple of months. The problem is that this then hikes my cholesterol. I can’t win. I have done strict Atkin before, with great success and luck. Cheese, ham, chicken, pork, greens, cauliflower, eggs. Did it for about 3 years. Blood work was never better. Felt great. But, missed my carbs. Love bread. Love sweets and believe that I need chocolate to maintain my body color.

So starting today, I have to work on this. Getting rid of 11 — and I am no longer young. I lost 70 pounds, when I was in my late 20s, in about 6 months. Went from 205 lbs to 135 lbs. I was quite a sight when I weighed 135 lbs, since my shoulders never got any narrower. I lost that 70 pounds within 7 months — but I was possessed. Didn’t use to run those days. I was not fit, though I did play cricket, sporadically (and badly) during the Summer. The first day I went running I managed about 1/4 mile and then crawled back home — and I do mean crawl, on all fours. I couldn’t breath. Went out again the next day. Went a few yards further, but in the end still crawled back. Within 2 weeks I was running a mile. Within a month 2. At the end of 3 months I was running 7 miles every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was also doing it in about 7 – 8 minutes a mile. On Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s I fasted. One apple and one chunk of cheese. Lots of coffee and wine. I super busy, and not eating gave me the time to run. Once I got to running the 7 miles the pounds just fell away, daily. Biggest problem was clothes. I was Customer Support Manager for ITT Business Systems in the UK — and had to dress for the part, with white shirts and snazzy suits. I would only wear Van Heusen shirts. I needed new shirts every week and new suits every month. It was an expensive hobby. I would give the clothes away. No time to get them altered. Plus no kids.

So … now. I will have to go running again tomorrow. Hope it is a tad warmer. Just as I was getting home had some tears freeze. Maya’s muzzle was coated with ice from her breath. She didn’t seem to mind the cold. Didn’t say anything.

Robert Burns Birthday, January 25: Google Doodle & The Poem It Commemorates.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
(Robert/Robbie) Burns Supper In NH … — Jan. 22, 2013.
Auld Lang Syne’ … — Dec. 31, 2013.
Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve Scottish Style) … — Dec. 29, 2012.

As far as I can see (and usually I can see pretty far given my $3,000 bionic contact lens in my right-eye) Google has only ever done one (1) Robert/Robbie Burns doodle and that was for his birthday, January 25, in 2011.
Seems incongruous. Would appear that there had to be multiple chances to honor this great Scot, though, as the Scots will gladly and correctly point out, they don’t have a shortage of Great Men. My Scottish mentor was beyond proud of his heritage. Given we were in ‘telecom’ (as he would say), he would love to start all meetings and presentations with the question: ‘Where did the inventors of the phone, fax and television come from?‘ That said, I still think the greatest Scottish invention, not counting Scotch, Haggis and the Pipes, is Velcro — now a great NH company. I once flew to Albufeira, Portugal, for a gala ITT Sales Junket. There was about 30 of us from ITT on the plane (and it was the good job that that plane stayed afloat). The rest of the 60 or 70 passengers were tourists. So, Ian, that was his name, BIG Ian Williams, would waddle up and down the aisle (Ian, though a sportsman of great note and a lady’s man, par excellence, was huge) asking folks: ‘Can you think of ANYTHING that has been invented by a Portuguese?



We Did 2012 Thanksgiving Brunch At The Sheraton Harborside Hotel, Portsmouth, NH.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> Thanksgiving: Portsmouth, NH, Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel
>>— Nov. 16, 2012.

This was at least the 5th time we have been to the Portsmouth Sheraton for a holiday buffet; Thanksgiving 2010 the previous.
So will we be going again next year or the year after?
Not sure, but I wouldn’t totally rule it out
— and I think that that is a fair summary of our experience yesterday.

The folks were GREAT, though the ‘Director of Operations’, who was delightful,
Mr. Steve Merrill, really should wear a tie.

Click on any of the pictures to ENLARGE them.

One of the unmitigated highlights Stan Bednarz. Dazzling and very kid friendly. He, rather than (the rather insipid) dessert table (compared to 2010), did much to add sorely needed ‘glitter’ to the proceedings. Bravo Stan, you made the day. Thank You.

The tightly packed buffet and the uninspiredly laid out appetizers.

The carving station with the tieless but nevertheless apparently tireless Steve Merrill, with bonhomie a plenty.

The centerpieces were colorful and festive. I met the young lady who did them. She was everywhere. Seemed to be doing a great job. Credit to the Sheraton.

The foyer. The piano, with the superlative Stan is directly behind her with the buffet beyond that. Carving station is at the top left.

To keep this as succinct as possible, lets start with what they did NOT have:

Pecan pie. 

A dress code.

Appropriate space for the buffet.

Necessary, functional serving utensils for the appetizers.

Detectable flavor in the Prime Rib.

Adequate lighting to highlight the wood.

Moisture in the stuffed chicken breasts.

Apple pie with the crust intact.

Horseradish with any kind of kick.

Stuffing better than what I can make from a packet.

Ice to keep the crab claws cold.

Firmness to the New England corn pudding.

What they DID have:

Enthusiastic, motivated staff.

Absolutely divine wild mushroom Ravioli with spinach & a Gorgonzola cream. WOW!

A fresh baby spinach and bosc pear salad that could convince you that you could live just on salad.

Excellent piano accompaniment by Stan Bednarz.

Above average baked haddock.

Decent smoked salmon.

A mouthwatering butternut squash.

Par for the course cheese cake.

Great panoramic views of the river and bridges.

6 PCs with Internet access in a common room next to the dining room.

Well the above should be fairly self explanatory.

Not counting the (rather overpriced) $9 for a glass of Mimosa, the one Sprite, one coffee and the 9% NH ‘meals and rentals’ tax, it costs us $100 for the 4 of us. That is not too bad.

Not sure why they crammed the buffet and the carving station into the foyer of the hotel this year. I went and checked the room in which the food was served in 2010. It was empty; a few stacked chairs and boxes of breakfast cereal. Not sure what prompted them to make the change. I was not impressed. It lacked adequate lighting, inspired layout and utensils to properly get at the appetizers.

For what was supposed to be a semi-formal Harvest Buffet at a fairly posh hotel the attire of the diners was shocking.

Yes, I know that people think that it is cool to wear jeans to restaurants, but in my opinion it doesn’t really work when you are in you are past 65 or less than 5′ 4′ in stature. To be fair I can even put up with faded, grubby blue jeans. It is the T-shirts that irk me, especially one sported by a guy that extolled the supposed virtues of a diner in Maine! That was beyond the pale. All I can say is that the guy was obviously from Maine, and he probably thought that he was dressing up. [It is OK. My wife is from Maine (born and bred) and as such I do have the right to stand my ground when it comes to the amount of Red Neckery I will tolerate from across the border.] That the ‘manager’ didn’t wear a tie set the tone. [I used to work as a manager for ITT in the days we owned Sheraton. This kind of dress would never have been tolerated.]

Lets be fair, for $40 less we could have gone to the ‘Great Buffet II‘ down the road and had as much food — though it would have, overall, been a tad inferior in quality. But, if I have to dine with riff-raff wearing merchandizing T-shirts, sweats and grubby blue jeans I might as well go to a Chinese buffet. Sorry.

So, that is about it.

Anura & Deanna Guruge 10 year anniversary

It was ten years since we met. This picture also allows me to see how I looked compared to Thanksgiving at the same place in 2010 when I had a cracked rib and severe bronchitis. Steve M. very kindly took this picture. Thanks Steve.