Kathee's Grandparents - Hoersch

John (d 1958) and Marie (d 1963)

I am pointing with my crutches

The graves are easy to find. The above statue is in a green "island" in an "eye of a needle" (see the map!). If you are in a car facing this statue ... look about 30-50' to the East. Key off the large monolith marker with the cross (3rd photo). The latitude and longitude is from the Hoersch marker. The flat stone needs some attention ... bring a whisk broom (we wish we had!)


Checkmate - this one looks familiar

Looks a bit like this win


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!


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

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


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


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! 


Strangulation by Triangulation

I have a real "kill" instinct about Chess


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!


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


Another bonehead mistake - Stalemate

  • Here I am dominating and then ...
  • I move White Rook from A3 to C3
  • I reason ... Black Rook cannot move to take White Rook (C5 to C3) because that move would expose Black King to Check
  • Also ... look how White Knight protects White Rook from being taken by the King
  • But ... this poor move left NO VALID moves for Black: The Rook cannot move! The Black Pawn cannot advance. And the King has no moves either!
  • Stalemate!
  • What I should have done was Rook A3 to A5.
  • King could have moved to C4 or E3
  • Rook or Queen could have easily taken Black Rook followed by the coup de grâce


The King as a major player

  • I perhaps should have taken a screen shot about 10 moves earlier ...
  • I had a good central Pawn defense
  • There was a column opened up in H rank but it was Rook to Rook there
  • I opened up the A column
  • The White Pawns defended the left flank and the White King moved to the right flank to help White Rook taking advancing Black Pawn. 
  • Then Rook to Rook exchange leaving just the Kings and the Pawns
  • White Pawn advanced and promoted to Queen on the right flank (Pawn protected by King)
  • I really didn't need the 2nd Queen but I did advance another Pawn to promotion (kind of overboard, I suppose) followed by Checkmate


7 on 7 and then Mated by a Pawn

  • A humiliating defeat!
  • How'd I let this happen?!


Cat and Mouse


Endorsement: Jeff Johnson for Minnesota Governor

The key issues:

  • Conservative fiscal policy!
  • Sane infrastructure advancement
  • Work closely with Republican House and Senate (if GOP holds) or thwart a liberal DFL agenda
  • Tax reform
  • A sane approach to immigration