Tag Archives: San Francisco

It Is Greedy & Unscrupulous Indians Like This, Seema Verma, That Gets All Of Us Brown Folks A Bad Rap.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the ‘Daily Beast’ original.

Click for the U.K. “Daily Mail” version of the story.

This is such a shame and travesty. Why?

Just so, so uncalled for. Yes, it is easy to have property stolen in San Francisco these days. We had our rental car broken into, and bags stolen, in San Francisco in 2016. But, we ‘played the white man‘! We claimed on our insurance. We didn’t try to rip off anyone.

This is so typically Indian — I am sorry to say. Avarice.

One trip to S.F. with $47,000 of luggage?

One item does make sense. $325 for moisturizer. Yep, that I believe. Indians love their lubricants.

Just distressed I. Why? Can’t folks do the right thing?

It just gets all of us brown folks a bad rap. I know. People take for granted that brown folks are always on the make — Apu to the lead.

Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

California Wine Country Wildfires Most Likely Will Majorly Spike Wine Prices.

by Anura Guruge

Just Examples. Google for more, much more.

** ** ** ** ** 

While the human and animal tragedy is palpable and immense, it is NOT as churlish as it may first appear to start thinking about what this is going to do for wine prices. To be fair it was 11-year old Teischan who got me thinking about it as we were watching the news. It resonates with her, to an extent, in that we were in San Francisco & Yosemite area last year, in April.

The economy of that area, as we know, is inexorably linked to wine. Appears that even prior to these devastating fires there had been some major concerns about this year’s crop because of Summer heat that withered the vines. Appears that the crop was down even ahead of the destruction caused by the fires. Plus, the ashes left on the ground can have an impact on the taste of grapes for years to come!

Wine does make a noticeable contribution to the Californian — and thus — U.S. economy. A marked drop in wine revenues will have a ripple effect.

Wine prices at the consumer level are bound to go up and I am not sure whether other countries will be willing to bail us out. This, whichever way you look at it, is not good news for wine lovers — such as I.

Related Posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Events’  >>>>

by Anura Guruge

FREE Christmas Trees For 4th Graders Through The Wonderful U.S. Government “Every Kid In A Park” Program.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access the official “.gov” Website for this wonderful program. We used it, gainfully, last year.


The official announcement of the FREE Christmas trees. Click image to access official “.gov” Website.

Available in New Hampshire too!


Click to get more details from NECN.

The “Every Kid In A Park” is a wonderful program — a worthwhile use of OUR tax dollars.

We lucked out last year, 2015 – 2016 School Year to be precise. Teischan was a 4th grader. I printed out the forms online.

We, as a family, went to Yosemite, Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Parks, in April 2016, using her free pass. She lost her pass when our rented SUV was broken into in San Francisco.

When we went to Acadia National Park, in July, for the Centenary, I got her another pass. No hassle — as long as she was a 4th grader.

So, I am an avid supporter of this program.

This free Christmas tree deal is another winner. A great promotion. I am delightedPass this information along.

All 4th Grade teachers should make a point of explaining this to their kids.

[Some, for reasons that escape me, are reluctant. I tried to get Teischan’s teacher to tell the other kids about this program BEFORE the Summer vacation. She never did!]


Related posts:
++++ Search ‘Parkfor other posts >>>>

++++ Check Category ‘Acadia’ >>>>

by Anura Guruge

CA Route 130 The ONLY Way To Go From San Francisco To Yosemite.

by Anura Guruge


Route 130 from San Jose across Mount Hamilton to Patterson (CA) just off Interstate 5. From Wikipedia. Click to ENLARGE.


Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_130

Wikipedia entry for Route 130.
Click to ENLARGE and read here.


Google Maps view of some of the route. Click to ENLARGE. You can see the twists and turns.

I have so far been lucky enough to drive this amazingly scenic and exhilarating route thrice; once West-to-East in 1992 and in both directions in April of this year — coming back East-to-West thanks to Teischan, who like I loved it, and insisted that we come back on it.

To me this is the ONLY way to go to Yosemite from the San Francisco area. Just sets you up, so nicely for what is to come.

I used to go to San Jose often during 1992 to 2000. I would always see this beautiful observatory (the ‘Lick‘), with iconic white domes, way up on the hills. I wanted to go there. That is how I found Route 130. Then in September 1992, after delivering a 3-day seminar for Cisco in San Jose, we were going to drive to Yosemite for a vacation. I chose to use 130 given that I was already in San Jose and the route started just there. Loved it. I was driving a rental Lincoln Continental that time. I did make the mistake of setting off without a full tank of gas. That was a mistake. Though end-to-end, San Jose to Patterson is only around 54 miles, all the hairpin bends and the steep climbs — 4 of them — does a job on your fuel economy, especially in a big, heavy V8 like the Lincoln. In April I was driving a rental, fairly new 4WD Nissan Pathfinder. I filled up with gas on Alum Rock Avenue just before setting off.

Driving the Pathfinder on 130 was an absolute joy. That was why I wanted to get one — though we ended up, instead, with a Nissan Quest.

Every car manufacturer should use this route as a way to showcase their cars. I would love to drive it again, at least one, before I die — ideally in a Jag.

West-to-East, the first half, up to the Observatory is absolutely picturesque. You also get to see some expensive, multi-million dollar mansions. The second half, especially the last 20 miles is tranquil beyond description. Mainly flat pastoral land, horses, small streams, lots of greenery — extremely peaceful and quiet.

You really have to drive it. Weekends, as we found out, tend to be a tad crowded, though it is not bad. Lots of cyclists, motorbikes and even joggers. But we came back mid-week, on a Thursday. Hardly met anybody! Beautiful.

This piece from “motorcycleroads.us” sums it up nicely.

Click to ENLARGE and read here. (Use above link to access original.)


Related posts:
**** Search ‘Yosemite & ‘parks’ for MANY other related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

TripAdvisor Not Publishing Negative ‘1-Star’ Reviews. I Quit.

by Anura Guruge

From ‘TripAdvisor’. Click to ENLARGE and read here.


I had 70 reviews and 280 photographs on ‘TripAdvisor‘. I was a Level 6 Contributor with 26 Helpful Votes and over 25,000 views. I would get at least 3 – 4 e-mails a week from “TripAdvisor” about how people loved my reviews and begging me to post more.

So after our trip to Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks & San Francisco, at the end of April 2016, when I didn’t have a camera and was not doing any posts, I submitted a bunch of reviews to TA. One of them was for “Grant Grove Restaurant” at King’s Canyon. The service was terrible and the food was bad. See reviews above. So my title was “Same As Previous Review”. I then went onto explain that we, one week later, experienced exactly the same. TA published all my other reviews within 16 hours. BUT would not publish this ‘1-star’ review. I e-mailed them and asked them. They fobbed me off.

That was it. They are not honest and sincere. Screw them. I closed my account. I am not dealing with an outfit that is disingenuous. 

Related posts:
Check ‘Acadia’ page above ↑↑↑↑
**** Search ‘parks’ for MANY other related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Do YOU Know Dr. Scot H. Merrick, Heart Surgeon At University of California, San Francisco?

.ucsfsdfsafAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge


IF you do KNOW him, PLEASE HELP!

Matter of life and death,
but more of the latter.

It is NOT for me. It is not even for anybody in the family. I am desperately trying to help out somebody I only know via this blog! I have never met her.

She is very, very ill. While we are are all dying, she is going to do so rather quickly IF she does NOT get ANOTHER heart valve ASAP.

She had an artificial heart valve inserted ‘2’ years ago. It started leaking a ‘few’ months ago. About a month ago it was determined, after 3 weeks of vacillation and needless distractions, that she MUST have a mechanical heart valve inserted to replace the leaking one. But since then NOTHING has happened. She is getting weaker by the day. Basically she is getting less blood getting pumped through her body every day.

She has a 2 year old! She is a single mother.

Most days she doesn’t have the energy to make the phone calls. I, on her behalf, at her request, tried for 40 minutes yesterday.

Wow. It was beyond a joke. Dartmouth Hitchcock take a bow.

That I am not a relative complicates matters though last night she had me added as a contact.

IF you have access to Dr. Scot H. Merrick PLEASE tell him to get one of his folks to contact me. IF this surgery is not done soon it is going to be too late! That is the problem.

So, IF you know this surgeon and have access to him, PLEASE help.

Yes, I have tried the 415 353 1606 number. 

How & Why Do People Get Run Over By Trains Outside Of Stations — Today’s 2 BART Deaths In S.F. Bothers Me Again.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Click to read 'L.A. Times' coverage.

Click to read ‘L.A. Times’ coverage.

Click to read one of MY POSTS on another of my blogs. Yes, I have many, many blogs ...

Click to read one of MY POSTS on another of my blogs. Yes, I have many, many blogs …

Here is the YouTube video. Worth watching.

As you can see IF you check out above post, I asked this very same question a year ago.

We have a lot of these accidents in Sri Lanka — even now. I think ditto in India. When I was about eight I was on a train in India that ran over a man. I didn’t feel anything and I am not sure if anybody did. But, the train came to a screeching halt in the middle of ‘nowhere’ in rural Southern India. There was a lot of commotion and shouting. It was quite frightening and disturbing to an eight year old. We finally heard that there was a man under the train and that they were trying to get him out.

I can even understand kids getting run over, BUT, for the world of me I cannot fathom how adults can get run over IF they have room [i.e., not trapped by platforms etc.] to get out of the way.

Trains are not whisper quiet — even on welded tracks. PLUS they make the track and ground vibrate well ahead of their approach. That is what gets me.

Like these two ‘poor’ BART workers. Didn’t they FEEL the train coming. OK, they could have thought it was coming from the other track — but wouldn’t you at least look up when you feel a train coming?

I really don’t get it.

Bothers me NO END.

Unbelievable, 8-1 Down To 8-9 Win By Larry Ellison’s Oracle Flyer In The “America’s Cup”. Beyond Amazing. Did Larry Pull Strings?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> America’s Cup — Sep. 22, 2013.
++++ Search on ‘Lake’ or ‘Winnipesaukee’ for my other water-related posts >>>>

Click to read 'Washington Post' article ...

Click to read ‘Washington Post’ article …

Have YOU Been Watching The Latest (34th) “America’s Cup” Races From San Francisco? Wow. Today MIGHT Be Last Day.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


Anura Guruge

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘Lake’ or ‘Winnipesaukee’ for my other water-related posts >>>>

Click to access the official "America's Cup" Website.

Click to access the official “America’s Cup” Website.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

This year’s boats don’t sail. THEY FLY. It is bloody amazing to watch. NASCAR, which I find tediously boring and would rather sit on my steps and watch the grass grow, has nothing on this. This is Formula 1 on water.

And the TV coverage technology. Mind blowing.

Plus the COMPETITION. Larry Ellison’s Oracle U.S. money & technology against Emirates-financed bravado from the cricket and rugby playing ‘All Black’ New Zealanders (though I always get confused watching the TV because the Kiwis are using a red flying machine while Oracle has a black one).

Sailing is not my thing. I was into motor boats. But, I love speed whether it be with cars, running, skiing, boats, computers, planes … The America’s Cup is all about speed and technology. Wow. Wow. Wow.

A couple of nights ago I heard an NBC commentator claim that the America’s Cup was the world’s OLDEST International sporting trophy. I was sure that he was wrong. International cricket goes back a long time. But, I went and checked. He was right. I was mistaken. ‘The Ashes’ is 20 years younger!

I was introduced the America’s Cup by Gregory W. Koss, my most loyal and lucrative client when I used to be a consultant. He hired me, more or less on a daily basis, for over a decade across multiple companies spanning: CrossComm, Andrew, Sonoma and SavaJe. Greg was and still is a passionate and very capable sailor. His lifelong ambition was to sail in the America’s Cup — ideally emulating Larry Ellison. In 2002 he might have got close but the dot,com bust kind of put paid to that. Greg still follows the Cup avidly. Greg is a member of the New York Yacht Club which as its Club House in Newport, RI. That is the symbolic home of the America’s Cup. Given that Greg is one of the most hospitable and generous Americans I have ever had the fortune of meeting he invited me to the Club. I got to see all the pictures and memorabilia. I loved it.

I keep on promising myself that I will follow the Cup. I really haven’t because time has been scarce. This year I caught the last few races. I have about 9 hours on ‘tape’ (DVR) right now.

Today could be the last day and NBC is not covering it. I am bummed. I am contacting as many folks as I can to get it put right.

There is an underlying story here too. The All Blacks, no doubt using American technology, is beating Oracle on the technology front! Kind of funny. Larry must be livid. He is being kind of humiliation. Adds to the drama.

Two Accountability Issues In The ‘Asiana Airlines’ Crash At San Francisco As I See It.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related post:
>> Pilot error & ‘Korean Air 007’ — July 8, 2013.

Click to access NBC 'Bay Area' video and coverage.

Click to access NBC ‘Bay Area’ video and coverage.

As somebody who has spent much of his life on planes, and have various Platinum and Lifetime Gold cards to prove it, I have a vested interest in aviation and airline safety (though I have, based on nothing other than a hunch, have claimed that I will never die in a plane crash).

Two things bother me about this crash.

1/ How do we ‘account’ for the unfortunate death of the 2nd, 16 year old Chinese teenager? Of course, she would not have died if not for the crash in the first place, BUT is it valid to include her death in the casualty count for this crash? Something that I think about. Of course I understand that it was an accident. The whole thing was an accident. But, in the case of this teenager, she was in two accidents one after the other. I fully appreciate that first responders, quite rightly, have to RUSH to the scene of an emergency. But, there is a fine line between haste and recklessness. I, as a parent and flier, would like to see this investigated fully — if that is objectively possible. Could this death have been averted with a bit more care? I don’t know. I just don’t think that a Fire Department, despite their very gallant efforts, should be given a carte blanche when an accident like this happens. We had a situation a couple of years ago, locally, when there was blatant recklessness by a volunteer fire department. So, that is my concern.

2/ I am amazed that I actually don’t know the answer given that I thought I was fairly au fait on these matters. What I don’t know is whether the Korean pilot can be detained in the U.S. to face charges. Not even sure whether it is possible to bring criminal charges against the pilot. Yes, of course, the civil law attorneys probably have already filed suit, as they should. But, can these two pilots be held criminally responsible. I also now realize why I don’t know the answer. Usually the pilots are not around to face the piper. My feeling is that these pilots need to stay in S.F. until we get to the bottom of this.