Tag Archives: Tourist

That Tourist Elephants In Thailand Are Suffering Because Of Coronavirus Is Absolute Bloody Poppycock.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

From ‘Google News’. See search bar.

Yes, of course, tourism has been badly hit and coffers are drying up. That we all understand.

But, when it comes to Thailand & elephants we need to factor in some other criteria.

Elephants, in Thailand or anywhere else, are NOT fussy, picky eaters. They do not need grains, elephant food, supplements or anything fancy.

They will just eat foliage. Any foliage. Yes, they will eat lots of it. Yes, LOTS. They will tear down and eat most green or yellow (think banana) foliage that they can get their mighty trunks on.

Yes, I know my elephants. I grew up in Ceylon where we had plenty of wild and domesticated elephants. I know my elephants.

I also spent 3 Summers in Thailand. So, I know Thailand better than most.

Elephants in Thailand cannot BLOODY starve. There is too much food ALL around them. Yes, the Thai will have to manage how the elephants get access to that food.

NO. NO. NO. They should NOT be let FREE! They are domesticated elephants used to being with & around people. You can’t cut them loose. Yes, they can and should be taken to parks, open wilderness that Thailand is (still) full off or vegetation should be shipped to them.

They have the money. They made PLENTY when the tourists were coming.

Plus, Thailand is NOT a poor country. They can well afford to take care of the poor elephants.


Got that. SMILE.

For MANY Related Posts:
Search ‘elephants’.

by Anura Guruge

The Tourist That Fell Over The Edge At The ‘Grand Canyon’, And Died, Could Very Well Have Been I!

by Anura Guruge

Click to access “Time” original.

Yes, I know. I get told off a LOT. Acadia, Canyon de Chelly, Yosemite, Grand Canyon … I always test the limits. I try to wear good shoes with GRIP. But, I have slipped more than once at Acadia!

My heart goes out to these folks. Yes, we do try to be careful.

Life is but an adventure ….

Related Posts:
Search “photos”.

by Anura Guruge

A Wild Mountain Gorillas In Uganda Paying An Unsolicited Visit To A Tourist Camp.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.


..by Anura Guruge

My father sent this to me.
It is pretty compelling and heartwarming in its own way.
Definitely worth watching some of it, even if you don’t watch all 6 minutes of it — and you can skip the introduction and still work out the context.
The introduction, however, has a classic line: ‘We woke up before breakfast‘. That is good. Could be messing force feeding tourist while they are still asleep.

Click to watch 5:52 minute YouTube video.

Click to watch 5:52 minute YouTube video.

The Unique All Black Old Railway Semaphore Signals in Alton Bay, NH. What A Sight.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Δ The Old Railway Semaphore Signals in Alton Bay, NH — In Desperate Need Of Attention — Aug. 9, 2012.
Δ Lakes Region (NH) Economy Booming Per Local Builders — Oct. 18, 2012.
Δ Alton, NH Property Tax Rate: Highest It Has Been In Last 5 Years — Nov. 19, 2012.

The now painted all black railway semaphore signals above the 'Old Railway Station' in Alton, NH by Anura Guruge

The now painted all black railway semaphore signals above the ‘Old Railway Station’ in Alton, NH. It is possible that they got it 50% right, which is not too bad, considering. Click to ENLARGE.

A bit of background: The desperately sorry state of these semaphore signals were brought to my attention in early August of this year. I contacted the lady who runs Alton Parks and Recreation, this building being a part of their domain. I kind of knew her given that our kids went to the same school. She indicated that they hoped to get to it ‘this fall‘. Given that I don’t like to ask people to do things without offering to help, I did offer to do any research required to determine the correct colors and marking (this not being too much of a chore given that I do love all things trains).

Come October I found out that the chief maintenance person at ‘Parks & Recs.’ had taken a 3 week vacation. I was getting concerned. From the little I know, it gets difficult to paint outside when the temperature is below 40°F, and I had heard that NH had had its first frost. In mid-October I happened to meet the ‘lady in charge’ at a school function. A major impediment according to her was that the maintenance folks wanted a ‘Cherry Picker’ [i.e., hydraulic bucket lift] to do the painting! The irony that the builders that build that station or much of the railways in the NE did not have ‘Cherry Pickers’ escaped her. Those semaphores, which actually have a ladder attached to them (as can be clearly seen in the picture) probably have never had any work done to them via a ‘Cherry Picker’. Since she was reluctant to ask the Alton Fire Dept. for help, she said that she would consider hiring an outside contractor. I contacted, unsuccessfully, three local builders to get a quote.

A few days later I called the Alton Town Administrator, E. Russell Bailey, and left him a voice mail. He never called me back. A couple of weeks later, actually on Election Day, November 6, the local newspaper reporter stopped by after the polls closed for some pizza. I started telling him about the poor semaphores since he is local and grew up in Alton. He stopped me mid-sentence and said it had been brought up at the last Selectman’s Meeting and permission had been given to use a town ‘Cherry Picker’ (which I assume was from the fire department). I even read about it, albeit just one sentence, in the paper the following week.

Then towards the end of last week, I think it might have been Thursday, I got an e-mail from ‘Parks and Recs’ asking whether I had seen the freshly painted signals. I had not. The next day I went looking armed with my ‘point-and-click’ camera. I was mortified. Both arms were black. It was like an omen. ‘Black‘ is so symbolic. As it happens, Alton which I think prides itself of preserving some historic railway artifacts actually has another semaphore signal — basically at the back of the Town Hall. We drove around to have a look at that. That is not in great shape either, but you could clearly see the Red Arm. So that is where we are. They never asked me to research the colors and obviously they couldn’t be bothered to do it themselves. Now it is possible that this could be color blindness problem. But, I think I finally found a plausible explanation. Please refer to the last picture.

So today, after Thanksgiving and doing a post on a cardinal that turned 80, I did some quick research on the Web.

Quickly found this picture of the Alton Bay Station taken on 14 October 2008. You can clearly see that one arm is red.

Extracted from a picture on ‘flickr’ by a ‘kla4067’, Ron Reiring. Click image to access his original. My thanks to him. This was a great help.

Then I also found this, though this is NOT of the Alton semaphore, though you can immediately see that it is a similar set of signals.

Extracted from another ‘flickr’ image, this one from t55z T (again with thanks). Click image to access his original. This time you can’t mistake the red arm and you can clearly see that the hardware is more or less identical to what we have in Alton.

Then I found this. Bingo. A ‘Boston and Maine‘. Looks very similar to the application in Alton. I think it is what might be characterized as a ‘yard signal‘. The red arm acts as a stop signal for the main line. The other arm has to do with local operations. I really haven’t researched it. I am more familiar with the British style, two quadrant, signals which act in tandem like a two digit binary number giving you 4 possible modes of operation.

This looks like a great example of how these ‘yard signals’ were used by ‘Boston & Maine’

More contemporary. The Downeaster in Durmham, NH

In a museum.

If Alton did do any research this was probably the picture they used. Enough said.

The Old Railway Semaphore Signals in Alton Bay, NH — In Desperate Need Of Attention

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

I was well aware of the old railway semaphores above the Old Railway Station (now the Community Center) in Alton Bay. I do glance up at them every once in awhile as we go by, but I had not looked at them closely until this Sunday.

One room of the Community Center is used by the Lakes Region Tourist folks as an Information Booth. This Sunday I did an afternoon shift at that booth in my capacity as a Granite State Ambassador. One of the tourist board employees drew my attention to the signals. He had been trying to get Alton Town to paint them. He had called one of the selectman (who happens to be my neighbor) a few months ago — but to no avail. I know the person who heads up Alton Parks and Recreation, so I promised to contact her. I did, as soon as I got home – via e-mail. I got an e-mail back. They are aware that the semaphore needs attention and are hoping to get to it this fall.

I am not sure why we have to wait until fall. The whole structure is crying out for some attention — at least a coat of paint. Look at the pictures above — that I took yesterday (when I went to pick up the kids from a day camp at the Community Center).

The British red and yellow signals that I grew up with.

Though I have been a life long train buff (with a badly neglected Z-gauge train set, bits and pieces of other train sets and a lot of books on trains) I have not paid any attention to the history of the railroad that served Alton — though I do also visit Railway Park. So I have no idea of the provenance of these semaphores. It is interesting that you do not see them in old photos of the building! Of course there has to be folks in Alton who know the whole history. I just wish they would rally around and get this restored. Also not sure that black is the right color for the semaphores — though I am the first to admit that my experience of semaphore signalling is 100% based on the British scheme, which is what I grew up with in Ceylon and Britain. Yes, I had little British yellow and red semaphore signals for my HO railway set in Ceylon.

I have offered to help restore these signals. Not that I have the time, but I feel that it is something I should do given that it is train related and in Alton. But, if you can help PLEASE contact Alton Parks and Rec.