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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by kenberg on May 18, 2018, 02:50:28 PM »
I'm a native, Ken. Born and raised. St. Cloud. Uff da!

As someone once observed, contrary to popular belief the population of the world is about 300,00. How else to explain all of these "Isn't it a small world" experiences.

It's hot, I maybe was out in the sun without protection a little too long yesterday, but it is all going well. Continuing my nostalgia quest we went to both the Minnesota Historical Society and the Ramsey County Historical Society yesterday, searching for small things rather than large. At the RCHS the (very very helpful)  research guy found a newspaper article from c.1950 about a historical re-enactment at my elementary school. Four kids were mentioned. I once had a  car-pool with one of the girls, she was "churning butter".  One of the boys, he was "lifting a bucket of water from a well" was a fairly close friend. I had a '47 Plymouth, he had a '40 Ford, our garage in the back yard had a pit for working on cars, we both used it. I have always thought that overhauling an engine, which I did when I was 15 or 16, took far more care and planning than anything I had to do in school. Sort of like a compound squeeze.

This  looking back is probably more for those of us of later years, but I am getting a great kick out of it.
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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by Masse24 on May 17, 2018, 03:07:36 AM »
I'm a native, Ken. Born and raised. St. Cloud. Uff da!
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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by kenberg on May 16, 2018, 09:13:12 PM »
Bemidji is quite a trek. Probably something on the St. Croix is closer and simpler. I'm impressed that people seem to be at least a little familiar with Minnesota. When I moved from Minneapolis out to  the Washington D.C. area I soon noticed a difference. People might come to D.C as part of a trek to many other places. Almost nobody comes to Minnesota on their way to somewhere else. For example, Becky had never been to Minnesota before she married me.  Now she has even been, briefly, ice fishing.


Ha! Just checked. 86 degrees in Mpls.. Off to the lakes.
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Sleight of Hand / Re: Enter the FIRESTORM :)
« Last post by kenberg on May 16, 2018, 12:18:46 PM »
I had started a response here but I don't see it so I guess I didn't click "post".

Anyway, if XX means "you pick", what does pass mean? I suppose if partner is fond of bidding 2NT on a 4-4 then pass might mean "We are in deep stuff but maybe  playing 2NTX will be better than 3m X in either minor. Even here, where responder is 3-3 and so surely wants to play in a minor rather than 2NT X, going to 3 !D only reduces the number of undertraicks from 6 to 5. So, if partner to the 2NT bidder is 2-2 in the minors, maybe pass really should mean "If you are 4-4, let's just play 2NT X and hope for the best". I would never consider 2NT with the hand that made the call, so this is not an issue for me.

As to 2 !H or 3 !H in the uncontested auction, I think it is close. If the 1NT bidder has a 6 count and we do not have an 8 card fit in either major, game is unlikely. But of course that's pessimistic. With the contested auction we might want to thank the opponents.  Opener has been able to show the strength and shape of his hand while still leaving open the possibility of getting out in 3 of a major if responder should have the dreaded 6 count.
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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by ggriffin0 on May 16, 2018, 02:16:22 AM »
Having spent a few seasons in Bloomington, and playing around the 4 lakes on the right-side of the tracks  ;) . Hope you have a great opportunity to touch-base with roots and have fun. Maybe even a trip up to Bemidji :) .
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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by kenberg on May 15, 2018, 08:42:28 PM »
Thanks. We probably will be up near Brainerd for a day or so, there is a Paul Bunyan statue there.

I called the parks guy in St. Paul to ask if it was totally stupid or just a bit weird to plan on swimming in the lakes. He didn't  phrase it that way but he did say he planned to wait a couple  more weeks. He mentioned that Bass season opened last weekend if I really felt the need to get put on a lake.

Ok, as I was writing this  I got a phone call from someone near Brainerd area and she said the ice just broke on the nearby lakes two weeks or so ago. Probably swimming is out. 

Minnesota does have its own style. Some years back I was there in January, it was colder than a, well, it was cold and I was on a city bus to somewhere for a night out. It stopped to let on some new passengers and as the door closed a guy came out of a bar, no doubt it was much warmer in there, waving his hands. The bus had not yet started moving and one of the new passengers pointed to the guy with the waving hands. The bus driver assured everyone that the guy was actually waving for a cab, and  started the bus. As an afterthought, he said "Well he is now".

You want a bus? You stand at the bus stop. Otoh, I once watched a bus driver there be extremely accommodating to a young mother in difficulty.
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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by Masse24 on May 15, 2018, 07:45:21 PM »
Ya, hey dere, Ken. Be shur you have yerself a good time back in Minnesooota. You betcha by golly!

Have yerself some hot dish, and Walleye, and maybe some Lefse, too!  ;) You can wash it all down with a Grain Belt.

Don't forget to go "up north." Wave to Paul Bunyan when you drive by!
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The IAC Café / Re: A personal note
« Last post by Curls77 on May 15, 2018, 05:41:53 PM »
 !H Enjoy Ken!!  :)
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The IAC Café / A personal note
« Last post by kenberg on May 15, 2018, 12:34:13 PM »
I might be online less for a while. I live in Maryland but I will be going back to Minnesota for the 80th birthday of a childhood friend.   We both graduated from Randolph Heights Elementary School, in St. Paul, in 1952.  I have a group photo of the 40 or so kids that graduated that year and I will bring it with me so that we can play "Guess who is who". I am wallowing in a bit of nostalgia!

My wife Becky pointed out a feature that is unusual in modern life. I went to exactly three schools: Randolph Elementary for K-8, Monroe High for 9-12, University of Minnesota for undergraduate school and graduate school. On the same thought, the old neighborhood is remarkably stable. On a recent trip Becky and I stopped by the old playground that is half a block from my old house. The warming house for ice skating has been enlarged a bit and so some things are in a different place but that's about all. We chatted with a woman whose 3 year old was playing in the sandbox, she was much like any neighbor from the 1940s. My old house looks as it did.

For contrast, Becky was born in St. Jo Missouri,  moved when she was 5 to Eugene Oregon, moved when she was 12 to San Francisco, California, first one house and then to another, and went to college in Ohio. Many kids now move around at least that much.  Me, I went to Chicago once when I was 8, otherwise we stayed in Minnesota or perhaps just barely into Wisconsin.

I am very much looking forward to this gathering.

Anyway, I said this was a personal note and indeed it is. I'll be online, but probably not as much for a couple of weeks.
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Sleight of Hand / Re: Enter the FIRESTORM :)
« Last post by Masse24 on May 14, 2018, 11:39:24 PM »
I will assume the question refers to opener and responder.

Assuming no interference, this would be my proposed auction:

   P  -  P  - 1 !S  -  P
1NT -  P  - 3 !H  -  P
3NT - all pass

Unlike Ken, for me it's worth a jump-shift. My threshold is roughly a "good" 18. This qualifies. I think the above would be a typical auction, and an even more typical resting place regardless of the route taken. You might find a few who, with responder's values, might rebid 3 !S (still forcing since 3 !H created a GF), which assuming "expert standard," is merely showing preference. I would not pull that out on an unsuspecting partner, being too afraid he may misinterpret it as a "slow arrival" three card limit raise.

I've already addressed the auction as shown.
Opener had all his bids, but might have passed over 3 !C. The 3 !H call, however, was eminently reasonable, and described the hand well.
Overcaller made a 2NT call (with 4-4 shape) I would not make at adverse vulnerability.
Advancer's Redouble was bizarre.*
Responder's final 3 !S was timid. 

There are too many permutations to play "what if" at each turn in the contested auction.

*Interestingly, I was watching RFP (Pavlicek) last night. There was a redouble by one of his opponents that looked strange. The opponents were Dutch. A kibber remarked that in Dutch Standard (something like that) the Redouble means "you pick."
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