Posted by Dieter
Oct 13, 2023

No Liquors or Gambling!

One of the murals in town. At least I'm getting some exercise.


odiousgambit Oct 17, 2023

$800 seems unexplained, who pays and who gets it, for what?

the "no liquor or gambling" bit I think is like the illegal sports betting I was doing to set me on the path to furthering my vices in Youngstown Ohio in the late 70s ... the slip I would get would say on it "for entertainment purposes only"

in other words, they knew damn well practically the only reason for the races was to gamble, which would be rampant if illegal, but had to claim they were banning it

Dieter Oct 17, 2023

I believe the mural is a re-creation of an advertising bill for the (self proclaimed?) "world's greatest county fair" before Clay County, Iowa took over that responsibility.

I estimate this to originally be from the late 1800's, back when $800 would have been a substantial purse.

There are still a number of county fairgrounds in the region that are quite strict about no alcohol on premises.

odiousgambit Oct 18, 2023

so maybe one race a day with an $800 purse. Odd way they use to say that.

alexreynolds Jun 25, 2024

I feel strongly about it and love finding out more about it. If you could, as you learn more, would you mind adding more information to your blog

Posted by Dieter
Oct 06, 2023

Rounding Up (medical update)

Welcome again, gentle readers, to the continuing saga of Dieter's recovery.

Throughout much of this ordeal, the doctors and experts have been advising me that I could resume my normal activities after about 12 weeks. Today, I learned that I am not supposed to resume travelling until my next evaluation, which is scheduled for about 8 weeks from now.
No, they cannot just test me now.
There apparently needs to be time for the muscle to grow and heal before they can do the tests (meaningfully), despite me feeling (mostly) fantastic.

We'll be discussing at length if I might be able to resume travel with some physical restrictions. Maybe I'll promise not to change a blown tire by myself, but I'll be allowed to load my own luggage.

Rounding 12 weeks up to 19 weeks seems... abundantly precautionary.
Sitting around the house does not seem to suit me. I'm accustomed to doing most of my grocery shopping hundreds of miles from here. The walls are closing in, and wanderlust calls...


100xOdds Oct 07, 2023

Insist to Take the treadmill test. If you pass that, then you're muscles are fine now. No need to wait 8more weeks.

- Dr 100xOdds :)

Dieter Oct 08, 2023

Is this what they're calling a "stress test" on the treadmill?

I overhear people talking about them...

(Their main concern seems to be weight restrictions on the arms. Their secondary concern is that I will be way out of timely reach of emergency services, should something go horribly wrong.)

100xOdds Oct 08, 2023

yes stress test. your heart rate goes to like 180bps, kinda like your wife walking in on your with another woman. :)

Why limit arm lifting weight?

Dieter Oct 08, 2023

They're worried that my arms will overload the spot where they cracked open the chest to do the heart surgery.

I feel fine, but I'd hate to be in a position where I have to choose between overloading myself to the point of injury or being stuck for 3 days - a real possibility travelling the mountains during tire chain season.

Dieter Oct 10, 2023

Update (again):

Another several phone calls clarified that their concern is ejection fraction - how much juice is getting squeezed out on each squeeze of the juice squeezer.

Apparently, it's low.

If you've ever thought I seemed heartless, there may be a medical explanation...

Mosca Oct 11, 2023

I had 4x bypass a few years back… 1992, when I was 35. Just hang in there. Nothing about recovery is going to be fun. Everyone’s path afterward is different, so I can’t give any advice, but I will say that maximizing your recovery potential is directly correlated to your lust for life. All the best.

DRich Oct 11, 2023

I rarely take the doctors advice. When I had my back surgery they said to plan on taking six weeks away from work. My surgery was on a Wednesday and I was back at work on Monday morning. Granted, it was a desk job so there wasn't a lot of movement involved. The hardest part was walking up the stairs to the second floor where my office was.

Dieter Oct 12, 2023

Sadly, disregarding the medicos isn't a ready option.

Since I (used to) travel for work, and work is insisting on a clean (enough) bill of health before I resume travel... I'm somewhat stuck using as directed instead of going off-label.

I guess it's an opportunity to make time serve me. I've got a hefty stack of books I've been meaning to read, and now, fortunately, not much better to do.

Current audiobook: The Last Shadow by Orson Scott Card. Audiobooks are very convenient for the prescribed rehab exercises, like long walks through the park.

100xOdds Oct 14, 2023

Wait.. your heart isn't pumping out as much blood?

Why is that? And how do they fix that?

So you feel tired and dizzy often?

Dieter Oct 14, 2023

I feel great. I begin to get light headed if I keep a too-vigorous pace for more than about 10 minutes. (This happens on the treadmill, sometimes. Walking through the neighborhood, a few seconds pause here and there to take in a view or sniff the autumn leaves is amply restorative.)

When they last measured the ejection fraction, a few days after the surgery, they found that the number was a bit on the low side. I don't find that surprising, since I had just had my chest cracked open, I believe I was still full of surgical drains, and I had spent the past several decades trying to live fast and die young.

They're just declining to re-evaluate the number (yet), since for most patients, the improvement before the next scheduled test is insufficient to warrant a change in status.

So I wait, and go for walks, and spend time reading. Blackjack Blueprint (Rick Blaine) currently. I'm not learning a whole bunch, but I agree with many other reviewers that it's well organized, well written, and a very good starting point for a modern beginning counter.

Posted by Dieter
Sep 24, 2023

Chip sorting

I'm sure our CCotD enthusiasts can sympathize.
My chips, cards, and books got roughly thrown into a box about 9 years ago, and at that point the chips were sticky from a 3 year old spilling root beer on the table.

Three sets of housemates, two girlfriends (or was it three?), two house moves later, I can finally start cleaning, sorting, and get back to using this stuff.

Thank goodness I don't treat these like collectible artifacts, and clean them the same way casinos do - rattling them in a bucket of warm soapy water.


odiousgambit Sep 28, 2023

search results,

CCOTD Meaning

What does CCOTD mean as an abbreviation? 1 popular meaning of CCOTD abbreviation:

CCOTD Meaning



Connecticut Coalition for Organ and Tissue Donation

[only thing that came up]

Dieter Sep 28, 2023

CCotD - Casino Chip of the Day is the thread where the chip collectors admire artifacts and exchange stories about going to get the chips...

odiousgambit Sep 28, 2023

of course!

odiousgambit Sep 28, 2023

are they real casino chips?

Dieter Sep 29, 2023

Are they real? Sort of.

One of the casinos I used to play rebranded and was selling old retired chips after issuing the new chips. (I'm sure they held the old chips for several years after the rebranding, so there was no obligation for redemption.)

$10 for 100 casino grade chips in the denominations I wanted (40 $1's, 60 $5's) seemed too good to pass up.

The poker room crowd had already bought off all the high-denomination sets, but practicing chip tricks or counting objects with the 3 year old works just as well with $1's as with $100's.

The CCotD crowd tends to pay face value for live chips from a casino they have played at; I bought retired chips at a fraction of face value from a casino that replaced the issuing casino. Nagging little details.

I also don't care much if I lose or damage one (or eighty), because there are a few hundred more on the shelf. Artifact collectors, on the other hand, sometimes get a bit persnickety if they scuff a chip while cleaning it for display.

Dieter Sep 29, 2023

The big stacks are 20x, the short stacks are 5x, and the 3 splashed reds are not stacked according to procedure. :P

Clearly I lost (about) half a box at some point. The 32 "different" reds (lower right) are Y2K souvenir chips. I'm sure the house was hoping people would keep them instead of redeeming for cash, and profit by seigniorage.

(That's 839 total by my count, but I know a few more are floating around... somewhere.)

Posted by Dieter
Sep 13, 2023

The Coupon Circular

There is a curious phenomenon out here, that I missed while living in a city - the coupon circular.
I am advised by the large print on the back cover that these are mailed directly to over 21,000 homes, 4 times a year. (This is probably intended as an inducement to potential advertisers.)
There are 5 pages in the middle of the issue, highlighting upcoming community events.
The rest is advertisements, many with coupons..
Selected highlights:
- $500 off wedding event invoice at the golf course (new bookings only)
- $20 off any $100 purchase at the tree nursery
- $25 off humidifier installation from an HVAC company
- $10 off chimney sweeping
- $25 off a quarter beef
- $15 off septic tank pumpouts
(and numerous others)

I have no idea what I'm in the market for, but some of these deals are just too good not to merit real consideration.


GenoDRPh Sep 15, 2023

A friend on mine owned and operated a martial arts studio, and he used to advertise in the coupon circular. In the spring. he'd advertise to not let parents have their kids spend another summer on the couch. In the late fall ,early winter, he'd advertise to give their kid the gift of karate this Christmas. You get the idea. His school was always popular, had a lot of students and he and his students were accomplished Martial arts students and tournament competitors.

smoothgrh Sep 27, 2023

I actually used one for my daughter that came in recently: a coupon for 20% off any single item at the Spirit Halloween store!

Posted by Dieter
Aug 28, 2023

One month out

Some quick observations now that I've been out of hospital for a month:

I finally felt flexible enough to crawl into a T-shirt today. More accurately, I felt flexible enough that I might be able to crawl out of a T-shirt later, rather than having to slice it off.

The doctors cleared me to drive a car again 3 days ago. It takes some readjustment. (I won't be travelling the country again just yet... I'll keep it to the tri-county area for home, therapy, and maybe some government offices for now.)

Rehab is a terribly boring workout. One hour, 3 days a week. Low impact, and I'm not allowed to use my arms (much) (yet). Unexpected upside: someone brings in apples, and we patients are encouraged to take them.

Making the bed is a surprising challenge. Sheets are no problem, but wrestling some of the thicker blankets around slightly exceeds the official weight (force) limit.

Low Salt diet is no joke. I figure I'm allowed maybe 4 potato chips a day. Enjoying the more typical 'few handfuls' seems to cause some weight gain (they notice at rehab weigh-in, and tell me about it), muscles start aching, and blood pressure is up 25 points.

Most of the holes are sealing up nicely, the hairs are growing back, and every day is a bit stronger. I feel darn cranky from the lack of nicotine, but the family says they'll put up with my sour attitude as long as they can. (I am declining gums and patches, because I'm cruel.)

I am increasingly ready to get back to old tricks. Still waiting for my arms to be usable at full-weight
I much prefer ignoring promotional emails because I don't want to go collect an offer, rather than because I'm just not up for the few hundred mile round trip.


OnceDear Aug 29, 2023


I knew you'd been ill, but didn't take in quite how ill.

I hope you continue to get better and return to full and long term health.

Dieter Aug 29, 2023

The little apples they're giving out. Pretty nice!

smoothgrh Sep 02, 2023

Keep at it! You'll make better days become a reality!

EvenBob Sep 05, 2023

Dollar Tree sells a really good salt-free seasoning that I use as a salt substitute. It's very tasty and I usually buy a whole case of it when I'm there. I also use fresh lemons a lot instead of salt and flavored vinegar. You'll be amazed how quickly you get used to not putting salt on everything. And how quickly you discover what real food tastes like.

Dieter Sep 06, 2023

My grandfather used a salt-free seasoning. I tried some once, and asked if he enjoyed it.

He told me that - like it or not - this particular blend was the only thing he found he could still taste. He sprinkled it liberally on everything and pretended to remember what food tasted like.

My experience with a number of seasoning blends has been similar.

The tiniest sprinkle of salt is much more satisfying.

What with being ordered to convalesce, I get the happy privilege to walk the little one to and from kindergarten every day. She will likely never believe that when I was her age, I did 2 miles each way, by myself, uphill both ways... her reality is walking across the street, 700 feet door to door. There are (minor) hills inclines each way, and we'll see about the snow drifts when the season comes.