So, let’s see, this is about week three-ish of quarantine? Anyway, with the CDC having taken an about-face on the wearing of masks, which is now starting to be the new normal in public, it feels like it’s the right time for a quick update.
Even with a slightly reduced work schedule, I’ve had no shortage of things to do. Continue reading
Time to revive this blog for a bit to share a few notes during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
I played in a chess tournament in Los Angeles the weekend of March 7-8. Participation in this event was down from prior years due to the threat of COVID-19. They had a rule prohibiting hand shaking before and after the games, but otherwise the tournament was uneventful. (Well, aside from me making a huge blunder in my last game in a favorable position against an internationally titled player, but that’s another story.) The plus side was that we had enough elbow room in the top section for social distancing, even before social distancing became a thing. Continue reading
Short answer: pretty much, but I’ll still keep it around for the archived material, such as my bicycle trip across the USA, and my Kenmore dryer mounting hardware post which seems to be of use to many. Also a couple of posts on using Open Street Maps and using my Garmin for on-bike navigation seem to be of interest to more than me!
I’d say that I don’t have the time to post, but that’s not entirely true. It’s just that, in general, I’d rather not spend the time writing about doing something, when I could be spending more time doing it!
One other update from mid-2019: I disabled all commenting on this site. The spammers are getting more creative, and since I rarely post, the spam battle is not worth fighting.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I’ve been pretty busy lately, so just thought I’d get a quick update out on the main topics that I talk about here: ElliptiGO, bicycling. running, and chess. Continue reading
I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed after purchasing the original iPad about five years ago. I bought it with the intent of leaving it on the coffee table and using it as shared internet/app device for the family. But Apple did not design it with multiple user profiles, which was a major disincentive to loading my personal and work email accounts and calendars on it. Apparently Apple’s vision was for the iPad was as a single user device. Eventually the iPad was essentially taken over by my young son as a toy.
Later I found a use for it as a portable chessboard of sorts, being able to move the pieces to analyze games and variations much faster on an iPad app rather than a physical chessboard. That was around the same time my son got frustrated with not being able to install the latest and greatest apps on iOS 5 (at the time of this writing, iOS 9 is the latest). So the iPad was pretty much mine again.
Meanwhile, the battery couldn’t hold a charge anymore and needed replacement, and while the iPad was too old to justify paying Apple $99 to replace it, the iPad still had enough value to me to make a cheaper DIY battery replacement worthwhile. Continue reading
I haven’t spoken much here about my past life as a tournament chess player. To sum up my prior post on the topic: I started playing in the early 1980s, rose to NM (National Master) level (a rating over 2200 – the top 1% of tournament players in the US), and then a short time later, abruptly left the game in the early 1990s when other things in life became a priority.
I’ve never really had the game seriously call me back, but on occasion I have given it some thought. Then I remember that in my latter years of playing, I had some holes in my opening repertoire which needed plugging. With the passing of time and with increased knowledge due to computers, those holes would be major breaches, and I might be lucky to make it out of the opening alive. The thought of retooling my entire opening repertoire just to be able to sit in the tournament hall would be a major disincentive to return after a long absence. Continue reading
I don’t recall exactly how I learned to move the chess pieces. Given that I lived in a small suburb on the East Coast in the late 1970s, I’m sure it was from reading a book in the local library. Around the time I was in fifth grade, my dad saw something in the newspaper about a local children’s chess club which met on Friday nights. He took me there every week, and he’d also take me to the occasional Saturday scholastic chess tournament. The story ends here for most people who learn chess as a child, but my path would be different. Continue reading
Just thought I would share some random musings on various chess apps I’ve used for the iPhone. I have an iPhone 3G running OS 3.1.3 (the upgrade to iOS 4.x slowed down the phone too much), which somewhat limits me as some of the apps are only compatible with iOS 4.x. Continue reading
I’ve started playing Chess with Friends on the iPhone. While the user interface is not the greatest in terms of finding opponents, etc., it works well if you already have chess friends with iPhones. I played a lot of tournaments over twenty years ago, but I “retired” due to other commitments. Now that online play is so much easier, I’m somewhat “back in the game”, so to speak. Revision3 did a review of the app here: Continue reading
I’m looking for ways to play “turn-based” correspondence-style chess that I can play from my iPhone. My idea is to play a slow-paced game with friends, making moves at my convenience during “dead time” such as waiting in line. The ones I have found are the following: Continue reading