9.22.2018

Checkmate at bedtime


  • We had dinner guests who stayed until 9:15pm
  • Began playing chess at about 9:35 ... just before my 10pm bedtime
  • Nice win ... 
  • I did fail to protect my White King as well as I like but ...
  • My offense was punishing:
    • Note the Knight protecting the Pawn
    • The White Pawn protecting the Knight
    • The Rook protecting two Pawns
  • Black ahead by two Pawns ... but 
  • I just plain beat Black down!

9.21.2018

IPhone: Save Money ... stay 1-2 years behind!



Is $1,100 too much for an iPhone? Get an older one for less

Excerpt:

The $1,100 price tag on Apple's latest iPhone turned heads when the company announced it last week. But for less than half as much, you can still get a good camera, a decent-sized screen and other popular features.

Just buy a two-year-old iPhone 7. That phone was Apple's first to come with water resistance and its first to lose the standard headphone jack. Its 4.7-inch screen is adequate and on par with other smartphones, even though its resolution falls short of high definition. And the phone still has a fingerprint sensor and a home button, both of which have vanished in the latest iPhones.

Or, if you want to pay more for wireless charging, there's the iPhone 8. An edge-to-edge screen? You'll need the upcoming budget iPhone XR or one of its more expensive siblings. And if you want a supersized display, that's where the $1,100 iPhone XS Max comes in. That model and a smaller version start selling in the U.S. and several other countries on Friday. If you're shopping for a new phone, it pays to think hard about what you really want and what you're willing to pay for it. Improvements over the previous generation tend to be incremental, but can add up over time — and so do the sums you'll pay for them.
Comment: We are on a 3-4 year cycle for technology. Kathee's MacBook is almost 4 years old and mine is 2 years old. Our phones are IPhone SE's ... 1 year old but work great. In two years we will be buying old technology but new IPhones and saving bucks! Above is a screen snap from Apple's website today!

Bear Scare ... Have a Cash Buffer



Retiring Soon? Plan for Market Downturns

Excerpt:

Retirees with cash buffers often react more calmly to market declines, reducing the odds that they will panic and bail out of the market completely, says Ross Levin, a financial adviser in Edina, Minn. The problem, Mr. Levin says, is that the low returns on cash often reduce a portfolio’s long-term returns. “If you have 80% in stocks and 20% in bonds with a three-year cash position, that’s a worse strategy from a returns standpoint than having 70% in stocks and 30% in bonds,” and nothing in cash, he says. A cash buffer “allows you to manage a client’s psychology during bad times, but it’s not an optimal strategy.” To solve that problem, some advisers instead use bonds as a buffer. A $1 million portfolio with 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds effectively holds eight years of living expenses in bonds, Mr. Pfau says.
Comment: This is our current strategy ... hold some in cash (using my T-Bill strategy) and if the market declines (it feels very high right now), buy on the dip

Not a Draw but a Deadlock


  • I played mistake free but couldn't force Black into a mistake
  • So back and forth! 

9.12.2018

Strangulation by Triangulation


I have a real "kill" instinct about Chess

9.11.2018

A program 'bug' leads to a series of weirdness!


Some narrative here:

  • WHITE Knight moved to F5 to put King in Check
  • (Here's the bug): BLACK Pawn takes WHITE Knight exposing King to Check from the WHITE Rook
  • Now what to do? We are in chess Bizarro-world!
  • I show this, incredulously, to my wife (who knows a thing or two about chess!)
  • So I capture the BLACK King! (A piece that can be mated but not captured!)
  • I keep playing just to see what will happen (below)



Somehow I mate the BLACK King ... and it's not even on the board!


Giving up for the evening - I can't wrap my brain around this!


9.10.2018

Xerox Corporation - My Dividend Buy





Doesn't look that dramatic but ... hard fought back and forth before victory


  • I was behind on pieces but advanced two Pawns on right flank. Sacrificed one to advance the other to Queen.
  • Finally was my Queen & King vs Black's King and Knight and ...
  • White prevailed