Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Mad bicycle dash to cross a busy street.

In my opinion, bicycle riding has been great for my health.  My tiny neighborhood is too small to make for an effective bike ride, so I do a very large loop involving the neighborhood to the west of me.  Google thinks that the entire bike ride should take 13 minutes, but it initially took me 25 minutes and I have cut that down to 22 minutes.  For parts of the trip, I ride on the sidewalk, but mostly I ride on the streets.  Except on Middle Road, I rarely have to deal with cars.  I try hard to avoid them.



There is a portion of my bicycle ride that is a little more dangerous because I am riding a short distance on Middle Road which is a pretty busy street.



Normally this jaunt over to the other street is a mad dash to avoid cars.  I don't venture out until there are no cars coming, but they come so quickly on Middle road, especially from the south where I can't see as far, that I have had 4 of 5 cars unexpectantly come up behind me, which makes this portion of the bike ride more dangerous.  Sometimes if there were cars coming from the south, and none coming from the north, I would switch over to the left side and ride along the left edge of the road.  The most dangerous situation would be if cars would be coming from both directions, which rarely happens because I have a much better view of the traffic from the north.

I discovered that the sidewalk on my side of the road turns north just for a short distance followed by a metal utility plate on the ground, which allows me to enter Middle Road from the grass. The cuts down the distance on the road.   I then proceed at about a 70-degree angle to the other street.  I am entering Middle Road at the left turn region, which gives me the flexibility to change lanes.

In theory, I could ride the grass all the way up.  Or I could cross Middle Road from Cedar Crest Drive to the sidewalk across the street.  The curb is so high that I can't do this on the bicycle and would have to walk it across.

There is an intersection further south on Middle road that is much easier to cross.  Sometimes I have ridden the sidewalk down there so that I could cross more safely.

--

Sunday, June 26, 2022

My life

A not-so-brief summary of my life:

My father wanted my sister and me to go to medical school.  We moved from Columbus in the summer of 1980, to Scott County, and attended IUS in New Albany.  We were both accepted to IU Medical School in 1984, but I disliked it so much that I dropped out.  I went back to school to study computers while running a bit of software business on the side, mostly writing video games, and got my first major job at a database company in Lafayette, Indiana in 1988.  I got a different database job in Indianapolis in 1991.

I lost my father to suicide in 1986.  He suffered from depression.

I wanted to program video games.  After searching nationwide, I got a job in Salt Lake City in 1993 programming video games.  It was a demanding job and they tended to work us to death, so I switched to a different company in 1999, a small video game startup in Sandy, Utah.  

In the fall of 2000, the second company went out of business, so I went looking for work.  I found a major military contractor in Salt Lake City that did satellite communications for military drone aircraft.  Their business spiked in a really big way after 9-11.  I worked there until September 2014.  Their business had contracted mostly due to cutbacks by the Obama administration, so they had major layoffs.

I loved living in Salt Lake City.

I had saved and invested enough that I retired at age 54.  In 2015, I moved to New Whiteland, Indiana.  In 2018, I moved to Columbus, returning 38 years after I left it.  That was always my plan.

My sister has been practicing medicine for around 34 years.  She lives in Russiaville, Indiana, just outside of Kokomo.

My mother has had cancer for 22.5. years.  At age 82 she has had more difficulty with the cancer but she is for the moment doing okay.  About 14 years ago she married Paul Belding, a nice man who is 85 years old.  They live in his home in North Vernon.  One reason I moved back to Columbus was to be closer to my mother, especially with her illness.

I was always interested in chess.  I barely qualify as an "expert", which is one category below "master."  I am officially 28nth in the state of Indiana.  In Utah I was 9nth.  I served for a while as the vice-president and then president of the Utah Chess Association.  I helped run state chess tournaments right up to the time that I left Utah.  

On moving back to Indiana, I started the Greenwood Chess Club.  I ran a chess club in Salt Lake City for 22 years.

--

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Live train accident

I have to wonder about people's common sense?   My entire philosophy of life is to not do stupid stuff.  In other words, don't take unnecessary risks.  People die from accidents all the time.  I would rather not be a statistic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9u7iV1VIYA


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Chess Puzzle Rating



I reached a milestone on chess.com by reaching a 3000 rating for solving chess puzzles. The site's puzzle rating has little to do with real chess ratings because the puzzle ratings are comparatively inflated. I have seen average club players reach puzzle ratings of 2000 or 2100.

Nevertheless, reaching 3000 took a great deal of effort.

The site presents chess problems that have difficulty proportional to your current puzzle rating. I have reached a point where I am almost as likely to fail as I am to succeed. I find that I am not analyzing as well as I should so I am trying to make myself focus deeper. The casual puzzle solver will look for what the "trick" is in the position and make a move without thinking about it too hard. However, I can no longer just make cursory judgments.

A chess master in Salt Lake City that I know has been in the 3070 to 3100 range. I would like to catch up with him.

--
Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com