9.29.2017

Old National Bank




Anchor Bank sold to Old National for $303M

Excerpt:

Anchor Bank, the second largest community bank in the Twin Cities, will be acquired by Old National Bancorp in a deal worth $303.2 million, the banks announced Tuesday morning.

Anchor Bank has 17 branches in the Twin Cities and one in Mankato. The company has $2.1 billion in assets, second only to Bremer Bank in the Twin Cities. The deal must still be approved by federal regulators and Anchor Bank stockholders.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Anchor CEO Carl Jones, whose father Winton Jones founded the bank in 1967. “Our family started looking for new ways to help Anchor support our growth, and the growth of our customers. We decided that partnering with a larger organization would be the best option for our employees and customers.”

Analysts said the transaction is likely to be the first of several in Minnesota for the rapidly expanding Old National, which is headquartered in Evansville, Ind.

Since 2011, Old National has snapped up nine banking companies as part of an aggressive Midwestern expansion that cost more than $900 million and allowed the bank to push into Michigan and Wisconsin. The deals added more than 180 branches and assets of more than $9 billion, according to the company’s filings with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bob Jones, president and CEO of Old National, said the company would be interested in pursuing other acquisitions in Minnesota.

“We love the state — we love the market,” said Jones, who is unrelated to the family that owns Anchor Bank. “Any time there is another opportunity here, we’d look at it.”
Comment: Nice dividend of 3%

9.28.2017

The Den - Window Repair





This, I hope, is our last housing repair project this year: rebuild of the den window system: 2 casement windows and 1 fixed with the glass transom above. There is rot in the lower corners and the seals are broken. Scott's windows is doing the work.

First Kathee is staining and varnishing (polyurethane) the staves and the bottom sections. Above is her setup in thae garage. Staining is done ... halfway through the varnishing.... Update: Scott came on 9/28 and rebuilt and installed 3 sections.
Comment: Our house is 22 years old. We  have replaced or repaired almost every window.  The ones we have not: Dining room (there is an overhang that protects this window); Nathan's bedroom (he's been out for 16 years but we still call it his room -  the deck overhangs and protects this window);  and finally there is a small window in  the laundry room  that has some protection from the weather.

Otherwise - every other window has either been replaced or repaired. We were fortunate to have a hail storm about 12 years ago that damaged windows on  two sides and insurance paid for their replacement.

Kathee, by the way, did a super job with this project!

9.27.2017

How much gold is there in the world?



How much gold is there in the world?

Excerpt:

Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest investors, says the total amount of gold in the world - the gold above ground, that is - could fit into a cube with sides of just 20m (67ft).xxx But is that all there is? And if so, how do we know?xxx A figure that is widely used by investors comes from Thomson Reuters GFMS, which produces an annual gold survey. Their latest figure for all the gold in the world is 171,300 tonnes - which is almost exactly the same as the amount in our super-villain's imaginary cube.xxx A cube made of 171,300 tonnes would be about 20.7m (68ft) on each side. Or to put it another way, it would reach to 9.8m above ground level if exactly covering Wimbledon Centre Court.xxx But not everyone agrees with the GFMS figures.xxx Estimates range from 155,244 tonnes, marginally less than the GFMS figure, to about 16 times that amount - 2.5 million tonnes.xxx That bigger figure would make a cube of sides 50m (166ft) long, or a column of gold towering 143m above Wimbledon centre court.

Comment: We were having a discussion yesterday from I Kings 10 which has the word "gold" 13 times

9.25.2017

Health Update: Good Report


I had a CAT scan and saw the urologist today and here's the update - it's good if you want to skip the details:

  • I'm now 19 months post surgery and exactly 1 year since "the news". 
  • The pathology report on the cells from the removed prostate indicated that the cell type is aggressive and that the cancer had escaped the organ
  • Today's scan did not show any tumors but the blood work still indicates cancer at the bio-chemical level
  • The routine has been: imaging, blood work and appointments and scans
  • The PSA has doubled since last October. It reports at .4 (should be zero with no prostate). The cancer cells are producing the PSA at this point. A helpful article on this is here.
  • I have a radiation consultation on October 11th. I think we will go with the radiation to try to kill cancer cells near the bladder - Urethra site. This approach has side effects but may extend my life

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. For all blog posts on my cancer journey click here.

More on radiation option

9.24.2017

North Korea: Four Scenarios



Scenario #1: coup d'├ętat North Korean Regime Crumbling




Excerpt:

Declaring that “Kim Jong Un’s days are numbered,” one of the highest-ranking North Korean officials to ever defect to South Korea shared rare firsthand knowledge and insight into the what he describes as the deteriorating situation inside the secretive and repressive Kim Jong Un regime.

“The elite class, which had supported North Korean society, has turned their backs on Kim Jong Un. Traditional structures of the North Korean system are crumbling,” said Thae Yong-ho, North Korea’s former deputy ambassador in London, who defected to South Korea in July.

...The possibility of a military coup inside North Korea is remote because the leadership is loyal to Kim, he said. Although he notes that many in the armed forces are also frustrated with the current system.

Thae is currently an analyst at the Institute for National Security Strategy, a research organization affiliated with South Korea’s National Intelligence Service.
Scenario #2: 'surgical strike' (no response by DPRK) South Korea's military draws up plans for a 'surgical strike' to take out Kim Jong-un's missile and nuclear facilities if orders are given to remove the dictator



Excerpt:

South Korea's military is drawing up plans for a 'surgical strike' to take out Kim Jong-un's missile and nuclear facilities if orders are given to remove the dictator.

Taurus cruise missiles fired from F-15 fighters would be used to destroy the facilities if President Moon Jae-in gives the go ahead in an emergency, it is claimed.

The contingency measure would be initiated by the President's Special Forces, according to reports by Seoul newspaper Munwha Ilbo.
Scenario #3: 'surgical strike' (response by DPRK) In North Korea, ‘Surgical Strike’ Could Spin Into ‘Worst Kind of Fighting’



Excerpt:

Over the years, as it does for potential crises around the world, the Pentagon has drafted and refined multiple war plans, including an enormous retaliatory invasion and limited pre-emptive attacks, and it holds annual military exercises with South Korean forces based on them.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made a point of threatening a military response. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of the American forces that conducted a missile exercise with South Korea, said the United States had chosen “self-restraint” with the North. Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said her country’s “considerable military forces” were an option. “We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction,” she told the Security Council.

But the military options are more grim than ever.

Even the most limited strike risks staggering casualties, because North Korea could retaliate with the thousands of artillery pieces it has positioned along its border with the South. Though the arsenal is of limited range and could be destroyed in days, the United States defense secretary, Jim Mattis, recently warned that if North Korea used it, it “would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.”
Scenario #4: North Korea attacks:  North Korean threats make Bay Area ponder the unthinkable: a nuclear attack




Excerpt:

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, Bay Area residents are being forced to confront the unthinkable: the possibility of a nuclear attack on our own soil.

It’s a scenario that suddenly became real after reports that the North Korean government has figured out how to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on an intercontinental missile — and after President Donald Trump vowed North Koreans would face “fire and fury” if they continued making threats, in an apparently improvised public response.

A nuclear strike would be devastating to the Bay Area, and there’s no preparation that could avoid that. But there are a few simple steps — like staying inside instead of trying to flee — that can help prevent radiation poisoning and save lives, experts say.
Comment: What do you think?

"Rigorous protocol" miscounts spelunkers - Indiana University student left behind for 2½ days

After photo
Before



IU freshman rescued after surviving three days in cave

Excerpt:

For three days, the IU freshman was trapped in the cave, wondering why the other students had left him behind in the darkness. He licked the moisture off the walls that surrounded him. He licked the wrappers of Clif bars and debated eating crickets. In the dim light of his iPhone, he tapped out goodbye letters to his family. After the battery died, he carried on imaginary conversations with the friends he thought he’d never see again. “I was very confused and pretty scared,” Lukas Cavar told the Indiana Daily Student. “It took me a little while to wrangle my emotions and sort of approach things analytically, sensibly, to come up with a game plan to survive.” Cavar, a 19-year-old physics major, was rescued late Tuesday night after the president of the Caving Club realized that the group had forgotten the freshman at the end of Sunday’s trip to Sullivan Cave in Southern Indiana. The club’s leaders raced to the cave and unlocked the entrance gate — the same gate one of them had locked on their way out, trapping Cavar.
Indiana man 'glad to be alive' after being forgotten and locked in cave for 60 hours

Excerpt:

A message posted by the Caving Club's president on a website for Indiana University student organizations says the club's "rigorous protocols" for accounting for members during cave excursions had failed. "We had a failure in our leadership to closely follow all these safety procedures," the message states.
Comment: Source of Lukas Cavar "before" photo. Source of cave entrance photo. Info on Sullivan Cave




9.13.2017

Disaster Relief: Please Consider How You Might Give!







The Best-Kept Secret in Disaster Relief: Southern Baptists

Excerpt:

As Hurricane Irma leaves behind a trail of destruction and pain, the nation again turns its eyes to disaster relief. Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey brought out the best in many of us. Desiring to aid the victims in Texas, celebrities traded on their popularity to encourage donations and volunteers. Average citizens opened up their wallets, gave of their time, and expended energy as they rushed to help fellow citizens. Local non-profits and large multi-national corporations alike demonstrated that compassion is a universal trait of humanity. No doubt, the response to Hurricane Irma will be just as compassionate and swift.

As people and organizations rush to Florida to aid those affected by Hurricane Irma, one organization that responds to natural disasters is often overlooked — the Southern Baptist Convention's Disaster Relief program. Under the auspices of the North American Mission Board, SBC, the Disaster Relief program quickly moves into devastated areas with well-trained and coordinated manpower, physical resources like food and clothing, and, of course, money.
Christians Far Outgive Government in Hurricane Relief

Excerpt:

From Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to non-denominational Christian groups to the Methodists to the Seventh Day Adventists, each faith-based organization specializes in different areas, and has processes in place that no government agency can drop in and set up on a whim.

If we want a full recovery it's not going to come from the bureaucratic mammoth that is Big Government, but rather, God, and His church, because unlike the federal government, this is the charge for each Christian:

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13
Comment: Two state agencies:

Texas Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
Florida Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

9.12.2017

Naples: Irma Aftermath - "Over-all, your city is a mess"




Ladies and Gentlemen:

The purpose of this message is to provide information to you regarding the conditions in Naples following yesterday's Hurricane Irma.

The reports provided by the national news services fairly represented actual conditions. Hurricane-force winds were ferocious. Maximum wind speed of 142 m.p.h. was reported. The eye wall, the most powerful part of the hurricane, passed over Naples and was followed by the calm "eye". Rather than experiencing hurricane-force winds after the eye passed through, the wind velocity, while significant, did not approach the velocity of the front quadrant. We understand that significant hurricane force winds did continue further inland. Winds continued through the night and began to subside by day break.

Electrical power is lost in most areas. Because of state-wide outages, electrical service may not be restored for days, or perhaps weeks. Water service is not available in some neighborhoods. Numerous water line breaks, caused by up-rooted trees, have drained the water system. The water treatment plant continues to provide water, but full-service will not be available to some areas until the water lines are repaired. We hope to complete most repairs within three days.

The storm surge continued to rise throughout the night. Instead of the predicted 10' to 15' storm surge, we estimate the actual storm surge was at a height at 2' to 3' because of the lower wind velocity in the back side of the hurricane. Some flooding of structures may have occurred in the Tin City area. There are no reports of storm surge flooding of other residential and business properties. Some streets are impassable because of standing water.

Because of fallen trees, getting into the city is difficult or impossible. Almost all streets within the city are blocked because of fallen trees, branches, and power lines. Driveway access may be blocked. Hundreds of the new decorative stop signs are lost. The Naples Pier was damaged. Cambier Park is a mess, and the Fleishmann Community Center was damaged. The Fire Station at the Naples Airport was destroyed. Loss of trees on the public rights-of-way and private property is substantial, as are other landscaping. Expect to find damaged roof-top equipment, such as air conditioning units, fences, pool cages, and attachments to structures, and limited loss of roof shingles.

Again, we caution that it may be some time before electrical service is restored. Your city's staff and City Council have no control over FPL's restoration of service, nor are we able to learn when service will be restored. Also, we do not know when Comcast, Verizon, or other services will be restored.

Over-all, your city is a mess.

And now for the good news. While your city looks wrecked, almost all of it can be quickly cleaned up. Much of the damaged landscape will survive if properly cared for, and trees can be replaced. Water will soon recede, traffic signals will be repaired, and decorative street signs will be replace. We have observed very little structural damage to residential and business properties. We may learn that some homes are damaged because of fallen trees, but wind damage is not readily apparent for most homes, condominiums, and businesses.

Most of the Naples City employees sheltered within the city throughout the hurricane. This allowed continuation of critical services until tropical force winds required that all seek shelter. Personnel mobilized at sunrise today. Their first mission is to clear the main roads so that you may return home. Access to some areas is not possible because of downed power lines and flooding. Naples Police are patrolling neighborhoods, and Fire-Rescue is assisting with road clearing, fire, and medical response.

For those who left the city, we recommend that you do not return to today. You may find that you cannot drive to your home. Because we are focused on a strategic street clearing plan, we cannot help individuals to gain access to their street. We expect to have the main roads partially opened by the end of the day, and most residential side streets in the next few days. Even if successful in meeting this schedule, downed power lines may prevent access, and streets may be partially blocked by trees and limbs. Some streets are flooded. Many driveways are blocked by up-rooted trees. There is access to most business properties, although most are closed as of this date.

There is a county-wide curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Please limit driving to essential tasks. Cautious driving is recommended due to hazardous conditions, missing stop signs, limited line-of-sight at intersections, and obstacles. It is recommended that water be boiled before use until further notice. Of course, the ability to boil water may be limited with the power outages, so bottled water is the best option.

The requirement that landscape firms must haul away landscape debris is temporarily suspended. Property owners and landscape firms may place landscape debris on the right-of-way, immediately adjacent to your property. Please inform your landscape firm that they may place your landscape debris next to the street. Do not place debris on the street or sidewalk. We ask that landscape debris be placed by the street as soon as possible. Your city has made arrangements to pick up storm debris. Contractors are now mobilizing for pickup and will begin soon.

Please share this message with your association members, friends, and associates.

Best wishes,

Bill Moss
City Manager
City of Naples
bmoss@naplesgov.com
Comment: My brother in law has a condo at Bears Paw in Naples

9.11.2017

IBM or Apple? Revisited at 4 Months






4 months ago

Comments: Will IBM ever turn around?

9.05.2017

My IPhone SE upgrade


I upgraded my 45 month old 16 Gig 5S to a 32 Gig SE today. I bought the IPhone SE at Best Buy. I bought the pre-paid phone and then added it to my plan at the AT&T store. Then I sold the old 5S on Ebay for $ 85.00. I had the UPS store package and mail it for me. I replaced my 45 month old Otterbox case as well.

Update on 9/7:

9.02.2017

OHHS '67 Most Infamous Graduate



Comment: Please, Please - don't be at the reunion! From the NYTimes 1987:
For Ms. Miller, it all started June 10, 1986, when she received a call from a woman who identified herself as Celeste White, from Staten Island in New York City. Speaking in an urgent, panicky tone, Mrs. White said she had to see Ms. Miller immediately. She explained that she was the sister of Teresa Taylor, whose husband had so brutally murdered her. Ms. Miller remembered that, didn't she? Ms. Miller did, but not in any detail. All she recalled from local news reports was that Dr. Kenneth Taylor, a dentist who lived nearby in prosperous Manalapan Township, had been convicted of bludgeoning his wife to death eight months earlier.

Sometime late that same Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Ken Taylor murdered his wife, smashing in the back of her head at least nine times with a 20-pound barbell. Telephone toll records would show that between midnight and 5:48 A.M. Sunday, 26 calls were made from Taylor's home to pornographic message services in California and brothels in New York.

Although he did his best to remove any traces of what had happened, forensic experts would discover evidence of a 55-foot trail of blood in the house as Taylor dragged Teresa's body to the garage and deposited her in the trunk of his car. He then placed 5-month-old Philip in the front seat and drove to the home of his parents in Indiana.

Ken Taylor was found guilty of murder, and, on Oct. 4, 1985, was sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years without parole
More & More Also a TV mini-series

9.01.2017

The fall of Brock Osweiler



Brock Osweiler to be released by Cleveland Browns, source says - Osweiler was beaten out by rookie DeShone Kizer

Excerpt:

Brock Osweiler’s days with the Browns were numbered when the quarterback arrived in a trade.

They’re now over.

Osweiler is being released by Cleveland, which will have to pay his $16 million guaranteed contract not to have him on their roster, a person familiar with the team’s moves told The Associated Press on Friday.

Osweiler will be officially cut on Saturday along with veteran guard John Greco, kicker Cody Parkey and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper when the team trims its roster to 53 on Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is still finalizing its roster decisions.

The 26-year-old Osweiler was acquired by the Browns on March 9 from Houston for a 2018 second-round draft pick. The team did not have any long-term plans for Osweiler, who went 8-6 as a starter for the Texans last season. However, because of his large contract, the Browns were unable to unload Osweiler and he competed for their starting job this summer.
Comment: Why Cleveland traded for him
On Thursday [March 9th, 2017] they started utilizing their assets, mostly in conventional ways—getting free-agent linemen Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter, and receiver Kenny Britt in the fold, and extending the deal of stalwart guard Joel Bitonio. And then they moved to use their cap space in another way—and flip it into another asset. In the trade with the Texans, Cleveland gets a second-round pick in 2018, a sixth-rounder in ’17 and Osweiler (and the $16 million he’s owed this year) in exchange for a 2017 fourth-rounder.

Moneyball in baseball is designed to find market inefficiencies, and one of those would certainly be how a big quarterback contract can hang around a team’s neck. The Browns saw that, in the way the Brock Osweiler contract has become an absolute albatross in Houston—and found an opening.

The result: They flipped late-round picks this year, and acquired a second-round pick next year to take on Osweiler’s contract. And they’re trying to find someone to take Osweiler off their hands now, while they eat a piece of his salary, to acquire something else (though it likely wouldn’t be much).

I’d be surprised if we see Osweiler playing for the Browns in the fall, because this trade wasn’t about acquiring Osweiler. It was about taking advantage of an inefficiency elsewhere and leveraging an asset from it.

OK, so we went through all the unprecedented portfolio of ammunition the Browns took into this offseason, right? When I asked coach Hue Jackson about it on Saturday, he said, “It’s very exciting, but it’s pressure-packed too. You gotta get it right because these are opportunities to take this organization in a whole new direction.”

With this trade, the Browns didn’t acquire a quarterback. They simply created more opportunity for themselves—this time in 2018. They now have 10 picks in that draft, 14 months away, including three second-rounders and two fourth-rounders. Chances are they’ll eventually wind up with more than that. Of course, at some point this will have to be about selecting the right players with all those picks.
Better times
Osweiler left the Broncos one month after their Super Bowl championship after spending four seasons there. He was selected by Denver in the second round of the 2012 draft. The Texans paid him a contract worth $72 million over four years with $37 million guaranteed, hoping to gain stability at the quarterback position for the first time in four seasons. He posted a picture of himself signing the contract on Instagram.

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