Tag Archives: kids

Social Security (SSA) Child Benefits — Allow At Least 4 Months (If NOT Longer).

by Anura Guruge


ssachildbenefits

Click to ENLARGE.

I wanted (make that ‘needed’) my Social Security (SSA) retirement as soon as I turned 62 in September 2015.

I had been waiting/planning for that for years. Per the SSA recommendation (of doing so 3 months ahead of time) I applied, in person, for my September 2015 retirement in early June 2015. I made an appointment at the local Concord, NH office and went and met with them. It was very smooth and pleasant (and I sang their praises). There were a couple of small wrinkles and I was very glad that I could deal with these in person rather than online. The two ‘wrinkles’ having to do with a minute monthly pension I get from the U.K. and the fact that I am divorced (and as such have an ex-wife). The Concord office dealt with these real well. They also told us, though we already knew, that the two kids, 9 & 14 at the time, were entitled to MORE benefits. Deanna has been disabled for years and the kids were receiving benefits through her. The Concord office, however, was very clever in not saying ANYTHING as to how much the kids would get when my retirement kicked in. To be fair they were also vague about how much my retirement would be because it had to be offset by that minute pension from the U.K. But it was all good …

I knew I would not get my first payment until November. I had seen that online and I am GLAD that I had because it did not come as a surprise when I was officially told that though I turn 62 in September my first payment would be in November. I think unless your birthday is on the 1st of the month there is always this ‘2 month’ delay BECAUSE you are only entitled AFTER the first FULL month after you turn 62 (65 or whatever age you elect after 62).

So I applied, in person, in June and within 2 weeks we had sorted out the two ‘wrinkles’. Around August I got a letter stating that I would start receiving my benefits as of the 2nd TUESDAY of November 2015. That was cute. Yes, SSA normally pays benefits on Wednesday. But the 2nd Wednesday of 2015 was November 11, Veteran’s Day, and a Federal Holiday. No mention of the child benefits. I also set up my SSA online account BUT neither I nor Deanna can access the kid’s benefits because they have their own SS numbers. Around September 11 I called Concord to see IF they could give me an update on the Child Benefits. They would only talk to me if Deanna was on the call since the kids, at that point, were linked to her account. Not a problem. In September they had NO news. Told us to call back in a month. So we called again in October, November and December. Always mid-month, around the 11th. No news BUT they continued to get the benefits they were getting through Deanna in October & December.

Deanna’s December payment, as always was on the 4th Wednesday — December 23, 2015. NO PAYMENTS FOR THE KIDS! No letter. Nothing. Boom. 2 days before Christmas. No payment. Bit of a blow, but luckily we could weather it. Called Concord again. As ever VERY NICE. Very helpful. But they had no idea. They, like us, were amazed that we had not had a letter.

The only news mid-January was that they were STILL calculating the new kids benefits! No payment January.

Called again mid-February. Ahhh! They had an update. They even had a tentative number! Said that payments would resume in March — 4th week.

Well on the 4th THURSDAY of February two payments arrived — back pay going back to November.

I just thought I should chronicle this in case any of YOU are waiting for Child benefits. The patience of Job helps.

It is crazy. I also came to realize that maybe they don’t get this that often with retirement — as opposed to disability, i.e., folks with kids under 18. Yes, it is not uncommon, of course, but we are definitely not in the majority. Hope this helps.

The Concord, NH SSA office is MAGIC. Very, very, very helpful BUT they can only report on what is taking place in Baltimore or in our case Philadelphia. 


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘SSA’ for other posts
>>>>


by Anura Guruge

‘Revels North’ Kids Program On ‘Silk Road’ A Welcome Opportunity In The Northeast.

by Anura Guruge


RevelsNorthSilkRoad

Click to access the ‘Revels North’ Webpage for this program, with dates etc.


I was taken back and delighted when I saw this, in the form of an e-mail, this morning. Kids in the Northeast, particularly in NH, could do with ALL the EXPOSURE they can to the wide world beyond the borders of their state (or in some cases their town). This is why I am such a big advocate of the Laconia ‘Multicultural Day‘.

Learning about the ‘Silk Road‘ could sure inspire kids to explore their wonderlust. The ‘Silk Road’ has it all: adventure, history, culture, art, music, romance. Yes, I have a soft spot in my heart of the ‘Silk Road’ — other than the fact that the ‘Silk Road’ also traversed through Ceylon, by birthplace. In 1983 when UNESCO started its grand ‘Silk Road’ program, my adoptive father, by then a 15 year old and Director-level official with UNESCO, was part of the team. As it happened the Ceylon (by then Sri Lanka) part of the UNESCO kick-off was scheduled for August 1983. I happened to be in Sri Lanka at the time. So given that my adoptive father and mother were also there, from Paris, as was the Director General (who I had met many times in Paris), we attended many of the events. Somewhere in this house there is also a lavishly produced UNESCO book, published in 1983, for the ‘Silk Road’. So ..

This GRAND. I am happy. Bravo.


UNESCOsilkroad

UNESCO ‘Silk Road’ Home page with the ‘Sri Lanka’ flag highlighted. Click to access.


Related posts:
**** Search on ‘Revels North’  for many other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Newcastle University Boat Club (UK) Competes With Oxford Women’s Rugby With Male & Female Nude Calendars.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Oxford University
nude Rugby calender.

**** Search on ‘rugby’ & ‘nude’ (sidebar) for other posts >>>>


Click here for the ‘Newcastle University Boat Club
Nude Calendar Webpage
— where you can order the calendars you desire.

Click images to ENLARGE and STUDY here.

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ncurcalendars


All I can tell YOU is that there has been a HUGE, DAILY interest in my November 20, 2015 post about the “Oxford University Women’s Rugby Team” nude calendar. No, I have yet to receive any of the 4 (yes, 4) calendars I ordered.

I happened to hear about the Newcastle initiative and felt compelled to SHARE it with YOU given that they are doing both men and female versions and I do NOT want you ladies to feel in any way deprived.

As I said with my “Oxford” post neither Deanna or I have any problems with tasteful calendars such as this — for CHARITY. Neither of us would have any qualms if our kids posed for such an initiative. Nudity is natural. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas.


Kids Dentists To Avoid Controversy Now Referring To “Fluoride” Just As A Vitamin.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> “Children’s Dentistry”, Gilford.
>> $140 for baby tooth extraction.
>>
Had it with my dentist …
>> Dental crisis in NH.

++++ Search ‘dentist‘ for other related posts >>>>


flouridevirta

Click to ENLARGE and read. This, though from another dentist, was basically the same spiel I heard today. No mention of fluoride. Just talk of a vitamin application.


floridecontr

Click to access original.

flouridecont22323

Click to access original.


Took both kids, together, to our dentist for their scheduled 6-month cleaning and checkup. As is the new wont the hygienist made a big deal of telling you, and the kids, as to what they will be doing during the visit. I heard twice, given that their were two kids, that they would finish the visit with a “vitamin application”. I was intrigued. I had never heard of that procedure before — “vitamin application”.

Given that I go in with Teischan I got to see what they were doing. At the very end, she peels the cover off a small packet of liquid and start applying the liquid to Teischan’s teeth with a Q-tip. Well that did NOT look like the application of a ‘conventional’ vitamin, say ‘D’ or ‘E’.

So I asked her how the vitamin was going to get ingested by the body through the tooth enamel. She started to blush and stammer. She admitted that it was not a vitamin. To be fair to her IT WAS. Fluoride is a vitamin. So they were NOT lying to us. Just, at best, being ‘cute’ — at worst being deceptive. She admitted that it was a fluoride varnish. In the past they used to be all ga-ga about applying this fluoride finish. They never called it a vitamin. It was always fluoride this and fluoride that.

Now it is a vitamin — and NO mention of fluoride.

This is NOT right.

Parents should be TOLD what it is that they are applying and given the option to OPT out.

I am not sure whether I would have opted out. I am NOT convinced about fluoride. I have better teeth than most with nary a cavity and there was no fluoride when I was growing up.

So a HEADS UP. Ask your dentist what exactly they are putting in YOUR KID’S mouth.


Sinhala New Year (Aluth Avurudda) — Cuteness Personified, Sri Lankan Kids Doing A New Year Dance In 2014.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Sinhala New Year on Twitter.
>>
Sinhala New Year — Racing Elephants.
>> 
Sri Lanka Calendar 2015 Android APP.
>>
Sinhala New Year 2015 cakes & hampers.
>>
Happy New Year by Ministry of Defence.
>> Pinterest
page for Sinhala New Year.

 …. Search ‘New Year‘ for over 20 other posts >>>>

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ & ‘Holidays’ for more >>>>


slny2014kidsdance

Must watch video. These kids are even cuter than puppies. It will have you ‘cooing’ with delight. Click to access YouTube video.


Three Video Clips On YouTube Of The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey “Built To Amaze” Circus In Manchester, NH.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Feeding bunny to python 
Oct. 3, 2014.
>> Selling cigarettes at circus … 
Oct. 3, 2014.
>> No elephant parade 
 Sep. 30, 2014.
>>
$10 tickets for opening night — Sep. 26, 2014.
>> “Built to Amaze”
 
July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013 — Oct. 7, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous circus posts.  >>>>>>


The “Built to Amaze” circus, by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, at the Verizon Arena in Manchester, N.H., on Thursday night, October 2, 2014.

Deanna, with her Panasonic shot all three of these short video clips. I couldn’t take my Canon T3i because the Verizon Wireless Arena bans, categorically, all cameras with detachable lenses! That is so arbitrary and meaningless that it borders on insanity. I could get a fixed lens camera that takes better quality images, stills and videos, that my cheap Canon T3i.

The human cannonball act by Elliana Grace is good — though we have seen other human cannonball acts before. Deanna captures it to perfection. You can see her coming out. WATCH. Definitely rewarding.

The other two clips very nicely capture the spirit and tone of this circus.

Click image to access the YouTube videos.

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Trying To Feed Live Bunny To A Python At The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus In Manchester, NH — Is NOT Appropriate.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


bunnyhhhRelated posts:
>> Selling cigarettes
>> at circus … 
Oct. 3, 2014.
>> No elephant parade
>>
 Sep. 30, 2014.
>>
$10 tickets for opening
>> night — Sep. 26, 2014.

>> “Built to Amaze”
>>July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013

>> — Oct. 7, 2013.
>> The circus elephants have 

>> arrived — Oct. 2, 2013.
>> Oct.  2013 circus/elephants

>> in Manchester — Sep. 29, 2013.
>> Circus will play down
>> elephant parade
 Aug. 15, 2013.
>> ‘Dragons’ circus is coming to town — July 6, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous
>>>>  ‘circus in town (with elephants)‘ posts.  >>>>>>


pythonssh1a

Click to access the “Alex and Irina Emelin” page at the official circus Website.


The “Built to Amaze” circus, by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, at the Verizon Arena in Manchester, N.H., yesterday, started off with a supposed CLOWN ACT that distressed us greatly and we were not alone judging from the screams of anguish that ran out around the arena.

These two Russian clowns, who really were not that good,
went through the motions of feeding a live bunny to a python.

I do not care if it was the circus. The whole depiction was wrong and very disturbing.

I called Manchester Police and complained!

It was like a parody. There are animal protesters outside the arena, about nine or ten (if not more), holding signs about cruelty to animals and they start with this act.

The whole act which involved 3 or 4 bunnies and one large python was NOT funny. It was downright disgusting. It might play well in Moscow but not in Manchester, N.H.

We have 3 bunnies. Our kids like bunnies.

They manhandled these bunnies and threw one around in an enactment of hiking a ball in football. That is not right. We don’t let our kids throw bunnies around.

Then the python thing was not just right.

I believe that animals experience FEAR. You are scaring a poor bunny.

This act should be stopped.

We have done quite a bit this morning. I called up bloody Barnum & Bailey. They laughed. They think everything is funny.

Plus lets not forget the SELLING CIGARETTES incident!

Deanna took to Facebook. This guy from 105.5 JYY was there. So Deanna, at my behest, post on their Facebook too (bottom). She started with Barnum & Bailey. They took down her post. So she posted again. Click to ENLARGE.

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Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus In Manchester, NH, Selling Cigarettes To ‘Kids’, At Verizon Arena!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


marlboroRelated posts:
>> No elephant parade —
>>
Sep. 30, 2014.

>>
$10 tickets for opening night —
>> Sep. 26, 2014.

>> “Built to Amaze”
>>July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013

>> — Oct. 7, 2013.
>> The circus elephants have 

>> arrived — Oct. 2, 2013.
>> Oct.  2013 circus/elephants

>> in Manchester — Sep. 29, 2013.
>> Circus will play down
>> elephant parade
 Aug. 15, 2013.
>> ‘Dragons’ circus is coming to town — July 6, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous
>>>>  ‘circus in town (with elephants)‘ posts.  >>>>>>


See below for UPDATE.

Yes we went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus, at the Verizon Arena, in Manchester, N.H., as we have done every year since 2009 (or was it 2008). This time, for the first time, we went on Thursday night, i.e., opening night, though it was a school night.cigsas1a

It wasn’t packed, despite the $15 and $10 tickets — most likely because it is a school/work night.

I always buy a program and a DVD of the circus. Teischan likes to look at the program and watch the DVD — multiple times. I noticed to my delight that the prices appear to have come down; $6 for the program and $8 for the DVD. I thought they cost much more. I usually buy this merchandise at the end when we are leaving.

But there were hardly any crowds ‘outside’ during the intermission. So while the kids were eating their chicken fingers and fries I decided to buy the program and DVD — so that we could make a quick exit at the end.

We had (v. good) seats in section 102 and there is a big merchandise stall right at the entrance to that section. So I headed for that. Just one person inline.

It was a ‘kid’ in a red golf shirt. Not sure of his exact age BUT he was young — meaning he was NOT an adult.

There was just one lady working the stall. I think she was Latin American. I might have seen her, at the Arena, before — maybe last year with the circus.

This ‘boy’ asked her something and she proceeded to get ‘it’. Then this ‘boy’ did something really weird which I could not but help notice. He started to TWIRL — yes, spin around in circles. He seemed very excited, agitated and on edge. The lady came back carry a zippered travel bag — like a small travel bag you would have, flung over your shoulder, when taking a flight. I saw what looked like VCR cases inside. Got me intrigued. I thought that they must be some special, limited-edition DVDs — in fancy box packaging. I was interested. Maybe I should get one of these, if the price was right, as opposed to the $8, just in a paper case, DVD.

What happened next shocked me. It was just so incongruous. She pulled out two packets of Marlboro cigarettes and gave it to the boy. He gave her a bill. I didn’t look to see how much. Not sure whether he got any change. I don’t think. I was shocked.

Never seen anything like. Something told me that it was NOT RIGHT on multiple levels. Even if the ‘kid’ was old enough, and I really can’t vouch for his age, it seemed ODD that they would be selling cigarettes at a Barnum & Bailey merchandise stall. Now, just at this point, I was only one there. But there could easily have been kids.

I am sure that you can’t smoke anywhere within the arena. So, would they then sell  cigarettes inside. I could even understand IF they sold them at the food counter. But this was the stall that sells TOYS.

So I asked her. She looked at me real sheepishly and one of her shoulders sagged and she said, softly, ‘YES’. I left it at that. I bought my program and DVD for $14 and paid by credit card.

Then as I was walking back to where the kids and Deanna were I saw a Verizon Arena security guard (and they are invariably very nice and helpful). So I stopped and asked whether what I had seen was ‘kosher’. Deanna and the kids were now listening. He seemed very surprised and said that he didn’t think that they were allowed to sell cigarettes to anyone. He said that there was nothing that he could do, right then and there, because it was a circus run stall, but that he would report it to his supervisor at once.

Deanna by now was most upset. She went and COMPLAINED to two other security guards, one male the other female. They like Deanna were not amused. They said that they will notify management immediately. We started to go back to our seats. Deanna hung around with her camera to see if she could spot another cigarette sale. The kids and I went back to our seats. Deanna missed the first 5 minutes because she wanted to keep an eye on the lady. She did not see anything untoward. As she was entering the stadium one of the security guards she had spoken to, the female, came up to her and said that management was coming down to investigate.

When we were leaving we had to walk right by the stall. She was NOT there! It could have been the end of her shift OR maybe she was removed.

Deanna is still unhappy.

I now kind of feel guilty and bad! Most likely this lady was doing it as a sideline. What intrigues me is how would people know that she was selling cigarettes? IS there some urban legend among kids that you can buy cigarettes at the merchandise tables at circuses? I don’t know. But I feel bad, being who I am, IF I got this lady into trouble. IF she was forced to sell cigarettes to make enough money to support her family — I feel bad. I feel that I got her into trouble. I would hate for her to lose her job. I just wish I knew the full story. All I know was that I was perturbed by what I saw. I kind of know I did the right thing.

I would feel much, much better IF I found out that it was indeed Barnum & Bailey that were selling the cigarettes as part of their corporate plan to boost profits. Then I would really go after them. But the poor lady, and she must have been poor IF she would take such a risk. What a world.

People paying $102 a seat to see the circus and lady selling cigarettes! 


UPDATE

On Friday morning I called up Feld Entertainment which owns “Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey”. There is NO “Ringling Brothers” or “Barnum & Bailey” anymore. Feld Entertainment produces the circuses using those brand names — which they own.

I called to complain about the horrendous feeding live bunny to python scene. Well the customer service rep I got, a person called Noah S. (if that is indeed his real name), was very familiar with the act and DEFENDED its appropriateness vigorously. He actually thought that it was funny that I could not see the funny side of it. Well I still don’t see the funny side to it — and this morning I did talk, finally, with the Manchester City Animal Control Officer and he said that he would go to the Arena and talk to those involved. He, however, did tell me, multiple times, that he did NOT think that they were breaking the law. It appears that pretending to feed a bunny to a python (or any other animal) is permissible as long as you don’t actually do it! Seems perverse to me. Basically we don’t subscribe that animals experience fear, anxiety or stress. Do I have to take this cause up? HELP.

Anywho …

Frustrated by his lack of interest in animal cruelty, I then decided to ‘hit him’ with the cigarette sales scenario. He went beyond being defensive. He actually became ugly and it was on a recorded line and ‘higher ups’ at FELD if they care, which I doubt, should listen to the tape as a  case study in how NOT to handle a customer.

He was interrogating me, aggressively like I had committed a crime! I guess he thought he was being clever. I hung up! I had done my duty. I had reported it.

At 5:18 pm last night I got a call. Caller ID said “Feld Entertainment”. So I answered. It was this Noah.

He was contrite. I had told him that I had blogged about the incident and he had found and read the blog post — i.e., this post. I guess that made him realize that Feld was not going to get away from this. It was already in ‘the cloud’. Yes, blogs have become the new pen.

Given that the cat was indeed out of the bag, he had called the ‘local management’ in Manchester to find out whether they knew anything about this cigarette incident.

THEY KNEW!

So it would appear that us reporting it to the Verizon Arena security worked.

We are glad.

So here is the story. The lady who sold the cigarettes does work for ‘Feld Merchandising …. (something or other)‘. Yes, she is part of Feld. She travels with the circus. Feld employees can buy cigarettes from ‘her’ (and others of her ilk, I guess). It is a SERVICE provided by Feld to their employees — because they don’t have transport to go into ‘town’. Very nice. Very considerate employees. I wonder what else they sell to keep their travelling employees happy? I wonder if they have a special saloon car on the train … you know … for ‘oh la la’!

So the implication is that the ‘kid’, in the red shirt, which did not as far as I could see, say ‘crew’, ‘Feld’ or anything similar, worked for the circus.

BUT here is the point that Noah admitted. She should NOT have been selling cigarettes in the arena during the show.

According to Noah they are basically supposed to only sell cigarettes ‘on the train’.

Well I am SURE that ‘she’, and as an employee, Feld, has broken multiple City (and possibly State) ordinances and violated those of the Arena. I kind of know that there are quite a few laws and regulations that cover the sales of cigarettes.

But will anything happen? Heck NO. They will get away with it. Ideally Manchester City police, armed with this, and the fact that we have recorded phone conversations, with basically an admission of wrongdoing, should go and crack down on the circus. 

So that is the sad story.


$10 Tickets For Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey ‘Built To Amaze’ Circus In Manchester, NH, For October 2, 2014.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> “Built to Amaze”
>>July 23, 2014.
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013

>> — Oct. 7, 2013.
>> The circus elephants have 

>> arrived — Oct. 2, 2013.
>> Oct.  2013 circus/elephants

>> in Manchester — Sep. 29, 2013.
>> Circus will play down
>> elephant parade
 Aug. 15, 2013.
>> ‘Dragons’ circus is coming to town — July 6, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous
>>>>  ‘circus in town (with elephants)‘ posts.  >>>>>>


circus2015man101a

Click to ENLARGE. It tells you what to do.


This is ONE HECK of a deal! I hate to say this BUT ‘they’, viz. ‘the brothers Ringling’, must be getting desperate. I am always thankful, each year, that they faithfully come back to Manchester because they don’t get the crowds that they deserve. I knew that they had $15 for the opening night on Thursday, October 2, 2014. And trust me those $15 are GOOD. I have said it before and I will say it again: the Verizon Arena is not that big and the ‘2nd-tier’ seats are perfect for the circus. We discovered this … like 8 years ago. Deanna had a FREE voucher for Devanee for the circus. It is a program that the “Ringling Brothers” have. Register your new baby, within the first year, and you can have a voucher, for a FREE ticket, redeemable ‘whenever’. So I went to get tickets for the 4 of us — one of them with the voucher. Then the catch. The voucher was only valid for ‘$22’ seats. So I ended up buying three more ‘$22’ seats. Was a bit apprehensive. We were delighted. The seats were GRAND. We have sat in the ‘$22’ seats ever since with great satisfaction.

I know that the $15 opening night tickets are for our ‘$22′ seats. So that was a good deal. Not sure whether these $10 are for those seats. They could be — IF they have any left, but to be fair, we are talking, basically, the entire 1st-tier arena [i.e., tickets that go 1xx’]. So that is a LOT of seats. It could be the next tier up, i.e., tickets starting ‘2xx’. That won’t be as good BUT for $10 that is still a DECENT choice.

So check it out.

I would NOT buy any of these tickets online — though I have also heard that ‘the brothers Ringling’, for all the NE shows have waived the online booking charges. I make a special visit to the Box Office, in Manchester, to buy the seats in person. Has always worked out for me. Very helpful. So that is the SCOOP.


Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey ‘Built To Amaze’ Circus Coming To Manchester, NH, October 2014.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
‘Dragons’, Oct. 2013
>> — Oct. 7, 2013.
>> The circus elephants have 

>> arrived — Oct. 2, 2013.
>> Oct.  2013 circus/elephants

>> in Manchester —
>> Sep. 29, 2013.

>> Circus will play down
>> elephant parade
>>Aug. 15, 2013.
>> ‘Dragons’ circus is coming to town — July 6, 2013.

++++  Search ‘circus’, ‘cirque’ &  ‘elephants’ for the numerous
>>>>  ‘circus in town (with elephants)‘ posts.  >>>>>>


builtoamazr567yu61

Click for details.


buildtoamaze451fg5

Click to access the preview video.


Yes, the flyer advertising the local performances arrived yesterday, and I as ever got excited. I, probably even more so than the kids, am a sucker for circuses. Love them. Always loved them. Of course, finances permitting, we will go. We haven’t missed a Barnum & Bailey circus at the Verizon since 2008 (I think). If I do manage to rustle up the finances to get the tickets it would be the second circus of the year for us — we having just gone to the astounding ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ “Varekai” at the ‘Verizon’ In Manchester.

I keep on seeing stories about cruelty to elephants at circuses. That, of course, bothers me inordinately. I am probably even more of an ‘elephant person‘ than I am a ‘dog person‘! I keep on convincing myself that Barnum & Bailey are good to their animals. IF I am wrong then I have been had.

You can get tickets through TicketMaster though I would WARN YOU AGAINST that. Dealing with TicketMaster, in my opinion, is ONLY for confirmed, masochists. IF you really have an urge to buy tickets through TicketMaster this is what I suggest. First go get a fork. Then place your left hand on a hard surface and stab that hand as hard as you can with the fork. Then ask yourself again whether you really want to deal with the criminal TicketMaster. If you still have the urge, keep on stabbing yourself with the fork until you either pass away or that unnatural urge to deal with TicketMaster dissipates.

If I have the money I will, as always, go to the Verizon Arena box office and buy the tickets directly. They are incredibly helpful and I know the seats I want. The tickets will not be available from the Box Office as yet. I will call and find out when.