All posts by kwerle

My new computer

I bought a CHIP computer (  $9.

4GB NAND, 512MB RAM, just 640×480 SVideo out, but capable of 720p, runs linux.

Generally more powerful than any computer I owned until the mid-late 90’s.

No, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.  Possibilities include media server (using external USB drive), wireless music gateway (someone has written an itunes capable playback package), or maybe even some hardware hacking using the pinouts.


When Microsoft shipped the XBox and Apple shipped the iPhone I started to lament that there would be no more open computing devices.  The manufacturing process was just too complicated.  But now there are little kickstarters that can spin up a complete general purpose computer for dirt cheap.

Color me relieved.

I am officially old

I visited my cardiologist on Thursday.  After reviewing the 48 hour Holter, the stress test data, and everything else, the conclusion is that this just isn’t a big deal.  The notion is that if you have a high number of ‘premature beats’ that ablation is probably justified.  High number in this case means something approaching 20%.  I have nowhere near that number.

So the decision is that I will just keep taking Atenolol.  It does not seem to disagree with me at all and it should keep me from having these super fast heart rate episodes which are really the only dangerous symptom of this issue.

Doc says I should just go on with my life, see you in a year, call if anything happens in the meantime.  His guess is that this might have been caused by some virus that left a scar when I was young.  Not unusual at all.

I figure that having a cardiologist and taking heart medication are two signs you’re old.  Even if it’s for an issue I’ve had since I was around 16 🙂

The regular irregular

Yesterday I did the treadmill stress test.  Everything was steady while climbing the hill.  After the cooldown the flibidy flobity started up.  I skip a beat every 3 or 4 or more.  That’s the usual thing – as opposed to the super fast beats from the other day.  The hope is that this is two aspects of the same thing.  The good news is that the irregular beat is easy to trigger.  Well, good in that if we do ablation it should be easy to tell if it was successful.


Late night snack

We’ve had some late night visitors, this summer.  Ellyn says we planted some deer brush in the front yard.  It seems that it works.  I spotted a couple of young bucks and 2-3 does.

IMG_3406  IMG_3442

I love living in SLO!

The follow-up

Visited the doctor, yesterday, and here’s the short of it:

  • My condition is not dangerous.  More just annoying.
  • I’m staying on the atenolol for now, since it does not seem to disagree with me.
  • In the next couple of weeks I’ll get a heart monitor for 48 hours to see what “Kurt normal” looks like.
  • After that I’ll do a stress-treadmill to see what that looks like.

And then in about a month’s time I’ll visit the doc again and we’ll figure out if ablation is really called for or if atenolol will be a long term thing, etc.