Roscoe's Notebook

Random observations, thoughts, attitudes: my blog.

There was still a lot of chess to be played...

BlackWin08082020

...on this board when White resigned in our game this morning, giving me the win with the Black army. But a win is a win and I'll gladly accept any that come my way.

This Correspondence Chess game played at the server-based lichess.org chess site began on 9th July when White opened with 1. e4 and it moved along at a pretty good pace until it ended with his resignation today, almost one month after it started. Checkmate was still far in our future, but my material advantage and his extremely exposed King left little doubt as to the eventual outcome.

The position of the pieces at game's end can be seen at the top of this blog post, and our complete move record is below:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 a6 3.d5 h6 4.Be2 e5 5.Bg4 Bxg4 6.f3 Bh5 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.g4 Bg6 9.Qg2 c6 10.Qh3 cxd5 11.g5 Nh5 12.gxh6 gxh6 13.Qg4 dxe4 14.Nc3 exf3 15.Qxf3 Qh4+ 16.Qf2 Qxf2+ 17.Kxf2 d5 18.Nge2 Bc5+ 19.Ke1 d4 20.Na4 Nd7 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.Ng3 Rc8 23.Nxh5 Bxh5 24.b4 Nd7 25.Rg1 Rxc2 26.a4 Nf6 27.Rb1 Rxh2 28.b5 Rg8 29.Rxg8+ Nxg8 30.Rb2 Rh1+ 31.Kd2 e4 0-1

And the adventure continues.


Published on 08 August 2020, ~12:30 CDT, this is my post number 54/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #blog #RoscoeEllis #chess

“100 degrees, 100 degrees, 100 degrees”

So said the man on my bedside radio this morning as he was giving the 3-day weather forecast. Typical for South Texas during this part of the year. And he gave no mention of any rain in his forecast. Also typical.


“And it keeps me from falling over.”

Heh. That's what F said this morning when we were talking about walking sticks.

F is my neighbor who lives two doors down the street from me. We're the same age, both are active in the same neighborhood Parish, and we've known each other for about ten years. and he's the only guy I know who is holding himself to a stricter self-quarantine during this pandemic than I am.

Early this morning while the coffee was brewing I stepped out onto the front porch to check my front yard as I always do and saw F standing on the sidewalk in front of his house. I waved to him, he waved back and started walking in my direction. I was surprised to see him using a walking stick, didn't know he had one. I've been using one for a few years.

He stopped on the walk in front of my house, keeping a healthy social distance from me, and I complimented him on his stick. I recognized it as one from the same company as mine. And I told him how I appreciated using my stick, how it improved my posture and stride when walking for distance. “Yeah,” he said, “and it keeps me from falling over.” I nodded my head and gave him a thumbs up. Mine steadies me and keeps me from falling over, too.

After a short chat we wished each other well, F headed back to his house, and I went inside to my coffee.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 06 August 2020, ~15:20 CDT, this is my post number 53/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #blog #RoscoeEllis #neighbor #chat #WalkingStick

Just another Humpday in the Dog Days of Summer

This evening finds me watching the Independence Day movie on AMC via Sling TV. And I'm enjoying myself much more than I would be if I was participating the the pandemic and/or politics hysteria filling the news shows, talk shows, and social networking sites I've become semi-addicted to. But that's a monkey I'm kicking off my back.

For most of my life I've been something of a news-junkie, and earlier this year I realized the panic that was being spread locally, nationally, and world-wide would reach seriously unhealthy levels. And it certainly has. So I have resolved to step away from the hooplah and fill my time with more enjoyable things.

Today I added a few more correspondence chess games to the load I'm carrying, and I spent more time on them that I've been doing lately. An hour or more a day on my chess from now on? Yeah, I can do that. And I put on some music and spent a few hours with a good book on my Kindle. Going to make that a regular thing, too.

Then a good movie in the evening and blogging during commercials: yeah, I can handle that, too.

And so the adventure continues.


Published on 05 August 2020, ~20:40 CDT, this is my post number 52/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #blog #RoscoeEllis #movie

Today's healthy exercise in the fresh air was ...

bushy fence

... provided by my backyard fence.

Part of the backyard that borders the alley behind my property is secured by a six-foot chain link fence inside of which are some really big and monstrously dense bushes. I like the extra security those bushes provide, but their branches tend to poke through and reach over the fence. If I don't trim back the protruding foliage every so often, those darned bushes would overwhelm the fence and block the alley. And we can't have that.

At an earlier work session I trimmed the corner and first two sections of fence. The result of that work can be seen in the picture at the top of this post.

Late this morning and into the early part of this afternoon I took my trusty hedge clippers and rake back into the alley and finished the job. The photo below shows the much cleaner length of chain link fence we have now.

clean fence

And I can log this as today's fresh air workout. As those of you who use the old fashioned manual hedge clippers know, they do work the arm, shoulder, and chest muscles.

The adventure continues.


Published on 01 August 2020, ~18:15 CDT, this is my post number 51/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #health #SeniorLiving #SevenTwoProject #photograph #yardwork #blog #RoscoeEllis

As July 2020 ends...

... and my end of month review winds down, there is more satisfaction than concern in my thoughts. And I like that.

I have adjusted rather well to the new lifestyle forced upon me by the CCP-flu and its somewhat related near worldwide lockdown / quarantine.

Financially, my income streams have remained steady and my expenses, especially as this month ends, are lighter than they have been for years. Baring the unforeseen, I expect my budget over the upcoming months to become increasingly easier to handle.

Healthwise, I have no major complaints. During this lockdown I have gained about ten pounds. But most people have gained some, and some folks have gained much more than me. Though I keep myself pretty seriously self-quarantined to avoid the Covid, I can exercise at home and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine working on my yard. Sylvia loves to cook so we eat healthy meals every day. With email, Zoom meetings, and social networking sites, I have all the social contact I want. An introvert by nature, I am very comfortable with what solitude this lockdown affords me.

As far as long term life goals are concerned, our move to the Philippines (which we would have been making next month had not the pandemic lockdowns happened) will not take place until late next year at the earliest and maybe not for two or three more years, depending on international economic and political realities that are out of my control. Of course, the longer we have to wait the more time we will have to prepare. And the move, when we do make it, will be that much easier and less stressful.

So July 2020 ends well in the Roscoe-verse. God willing, my end of August review should find my situation even better. I'm looking forward to it.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 31 July 2020, ~21:00 CDT, this is my post number 50/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #health #SeniorLiving #RoscoeEllis #blog

They decided I should take a test.

Home test

A week or so ago my Health Insurance Company sent me a letter to inform me that in their opinion I should take an HbA1c test. They said they were sending me a home test kit that would be arriving soon, and that I should take the test and return the blood sample to their lab as soon as possible.

My first thought on receiving this letter was WTF? There's been so much hooplah in the news and social media over the last several months about the Covid CCP Flu, I automatically thought this test was somehow related to that. Some quick Internet research showed that wasn't the case at all.

HbA1c refers to glucose and haemoglobin joined together (the haemoglobin is ’glycated’). Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. The amount of HbA1c formed is directly related to the amount of glucose in your blood. Red blood cells live for up to 4 months, so HbA1c gives an indication of how much sugar you’ve had in your blood over the past few months. It’s different to the blood glucose test, which measures how much sugar you have in your blood at that moment.

So it's a diabetes/prediabetes test of sorts. My doctors check my A1c number regularly and they've never (yet) diagnosed me as diabetic. But I am older and pretty overweight, so it makes sense that the insurance company would want a close look taken.

Anyway, this morning I poked my finger, collected the blood sample, filled out the little form, and this afternoon I'll mail the collected material up to the lab in Dallas.

My next scheduled face-to-face appointment with the Primary Care Doctor is in a few weeks. This will probably give us something to talk about.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 28 July 2020, ~11:56 CDT, this is my post number 49/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #health #SeniorLiving #RoscoeEllis #blog

This Sunday in July...

... as I review the week behind me, I'm satisfied with the amount of work I accomplished. Some days were longer and busier than I'd have liked, but I made it through them all without making any blunders and, to the best of my knowledge, without breaking anything and without irritating anyone important.

Chess-wise, I lost one game and won another. My current game load is 12 active correspondence games more or less equally spread among four different server based chess clubs. That seems to be a pretty good number for me given my current age, health and station in life. When I was younger I could comfortably carry two or three dozen games at a time while working full-time and involving myself in other activities. Damn! There's no way I could do that now.

The only disappointment this week has been the difficulty in keeping up with my reading. The compound cataracts and glaucoma in both eyes made it hard to do much reading at all. I'm tempted to go the audio book route. I've tried that before but for one reason or another never kept it up. Maybe this is a good time to give it a go again. Maybe.

The week ahead looks to be another busy one but I'm making a serious effort to move things along at a slower pace now. We'll see how that approach works.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 26 July 2020, ~21:45 CDT, this is my post number 48/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #chess #SeniorLiving

A Win with White

White wins

After two months and two days of correspondence chess play and 54 moves, Black resigned this game today giving me the win with the White pieces.

He was certainly right to do this. Depending on his next move I could capture his h-pawn with either my Rook or Bishop. Then it would be a simple matter of forcing checkmate after squeezing his King against an edge of the board with my remaining major pieces.

The screenshot above shows our board at game's end and the full move record is below.

  1. d4 d5 2. Nb1c3 e6 3. a3 c5 4. dxc5 Bf8xc5 5. e3 Ng8f6 6. Nc3a4 Bc5e7 7. g3 Bc8d7 8. Na4c3 Nb8c6 9. Ng1f3 a6 10. Bf1g2 O-O 11. O-O Qd8c7 12. Nf3d2 b5 13. b4 a5 14. Bc1b2 axb4 15. Nc3xb5 Qc7b8 16. a4 Nc6e5 17. Rf1e1 Bd7xb5 18. axb5 Ne5d7 19. e4 Qb8xb5 20. Nd2b3 Be7d6 21. exd5 exd5 22. Bg2f1 Qb5b6 23. Bb2d4 Qb6c7 24. Ra1xa8 Rf8xa8 25. Qd1c1 h5 26. h4 Nf6e4 27. Qc1e3 Qc7xc2 28. Re1e2 Qc2c7 29. Qe3d3 f5 30. Qd3c2 Qc7xc2 31. Re2xc2 Ra8a3 32. Nb3d2 Bd6xg3 33. fxg3 Ne4xg3 34. Bf1b5 Ng3e2 35. Bb5xe2 b3 36. Rc2c8 Nd7f8 37. Bd4c5 Ra3a2 38. Rc8xf8 Kg8h7 39. Bc5b4 b2 40. Rf8e8 Ra2a1 41. Kg1f2 g6 42. Be2d3 Kh7g7 43. Bb4c3 Kg7f7 44. Re8b8 Ra1a3 45. Nd2b1 d4 46. Bd3c4 Kf7g7 47. Nb1xa3 dxc3 48. Kf2e3 g5 49. hxg5 Kg7g6 50. Ke3f4 h4 51. Bc4d5 c2 52. Na3xc2 h3 53. Rb8xb2 h2 54. Nc2e3 1-0

I'm going to count the screenshot at the top of this post as a photograph and name it as an entry in my too often neglected Seven Two Project.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 24 July 2020, ~18:00 CDT, this is my post number 47/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #chess #SevenTwoProject

Bringing the task lists back under control

As the rest of the world (at least those parts of it with which I'm involved) continues to adapt to the new conditions forced on us by the 2020 lockdowns/shutdowns, and resumes operation under often new forms, my daily and weekly task lists have grown to sizes not seen since before my retirement. Too many organizations and people are pulling me back into work that I have long since stepped away from. They're trying to, anyway. And their efforts have really ballooned during the past month. But enough is enough, and too much is too much.

In order to return to the more sensible pace of a happy retired life, I'm saying NO! to many of those new/old calls. And I'm bringing my task lists back to levels I can more comfortably handle.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 23 July 2020, ~20:00 CDT, this is my post number 46/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #RetiredLife

Ah, postcards

Chess Card

A few days ago jetgirl wrote about her fascination with postcards on her blog. Reading her delightful post brought back fond memories of years ago when I used to send and receive them on a regular basis.

I am a Correspondence Chess (CC) player you see, and have been for longer than most Fosstodon folks have been alive. Before the advent of personal computers, most of us mailed our moves back and forth to each other on postal correspondence cards. At the top of this post are pictured the front and back of one such card. (Yes, I still have a small stash of them.)

It was common practice for us then to have two games in progress at the same time with reversed colors with each opponent. In Game “A” for example I may play the White pieces, and in Game “B” I'd be Black. You'll notice on the front side of each card there is a small board diagram. When preparing to send a card we'd fill the diagram with the board position of one of our games, usually using red ink to denote each White Piece and Black ink for the Black.

On the back of each card you'll see there's ample room to list the three most recent moves in algebraic notation for each game.

Now we all use the Internet, most often via server-based chess clubs, to play our CC games. But I do miss using the postal cards... sometimes.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 17 July 2020, ~20:30 CDT, this is my post number 45/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #postcards #Postalchess #SevenTwoProject

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