This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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June 2018
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Tell Me Something New

Ed joins Sam on this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner. Ed educates Sam on the new “Right to Try” law. They discuss if Trump actually has malicious motivations or actually believes he is doing positive things, specifically with regard to how he is handling relations with America’s allies. And finally, they talk about how a complicated story like the Trump/Russia investigation just leaves people confused and tired, while constant repetition of “witch hunt!” is a simple clear message that penetrates to those who are inclined to believe it. Yet another full show!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-06-14
Length this week – 1:26:40

  • (0:00:15-0:06:52) Intro
  • (0:08:35-0:34:32) Right to Try
  • (0:35:51-1:00:00) Trump’s Motives
  • (1:00:45-1:26:20) Complex Crimes, Simple Distractions

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Bubbles of Exasperation

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s three main topics are the USA’s alliances and the strains Trump is putting on them, the upcoming North Korean summit, and a hodgepodge of legal related stuff like last week’s SCOTUS cases, the Obamacare lawsuit, the new Manafort charges, and the Trump legal team’s letter to Mueller. Before all that though, they mark an anniversary, discuss Ivan’s recent trip to China, talk about the destruction of Sam’s son’s iPad, and more!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-06-09
Length this week – 1:59:30

  • (0:01:45-0:37:04) But First
    • Agenda
    • Anniversary
    • Ivan in China
    • Ivan book: Understanding Air France 447 (2013)
    • Alex iPad destruction
    • Macron handshake
  • (0:37:43-1:01:30) Alliances
    • Anthony Bourdain suicide
    • G7 Summit
    • What is Trump’s plan?
    • Are Canada and the EU really screwing the US?
    • Fed up allies, happy Putin
    • Rules are for suckers
  • (1:02:15-1:19:19) North Korea
    • All about the attitude
    • Giving things for free?
    • Path to opening?
    • Predictions
    • Parkland again
  • (1:21:01-1:59:09) Legal Stuff
    • Gay wedding cake case
    • Abortion case
    • Obamacare lawsuit
    • New Manafort charges
    • Trump letter to Mueller

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Light and Frothy

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast, the two big topics are Trump’s pardons and the Economy. Specifically Sam and Ivan talk about the grand plan, or lack thereof, surrounding the pardons and what messages that sends. On the economy, the questions are how much credit Trump should get for good unemployment numbers, does it matter that he tweeted about those results before they came out, and what’s up with the big trade war that seems to be getting started? Along the way, they also cover a health issue in Sam’s family, the Puerto Rican death toll, a little on the Trump/Cohen investigations, and the general trend toward US isolation.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-06-02
Length this week – 1:17:12

  • (0:00:15-0:16:32) Into
    • Where is Ivan
    • Agenda
    • Sam’s Family Medical Issue
    • Puerto Rican Death Toll
  • (0:17:11-0:50:30) Pardons and Commutations and Stuff
    • Answering Machine Messages
    • Recent and Proposed Pardons
    • Eating the Pieces
    • Kardashian Summit
    • Pardoning Trump cronies?
    • Rudy’s Strategy
    • Trump Tapes
    • Investigation Speed
  • (0:51:06-1:16:52) Economic Stuff
    • Where is the Economic Collapse?
    • Should Trump get credit for good numbers?
    • Trump unemployment pre-announcement
    • Trade War!
    • US becoming isolated

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Nice to be appreciated…

Part of a profile of himself Alex is doing as homework.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Puppies or Penguins or Something

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan start out talking about talking about politics at parties, and how news junkies are different from normal people. But the main topics are the mess surrounding the possible North Korean summit, and the shameful policy of separating kids from their parents at the border.

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-05-26
Length this week – 1:16:46

  • (0:00:15-0:21:30) Intro
    • Agenda
    • Politics at Parties
    • Mueller finding crimes?
    • Normals vs News Junkies
  • (0:24:07-0:52:32) North Korea
    • What happened?
    • Where are we now?
    • Impact on allies
    • Can the next president fix it?
  • (0:53:52-1:16:26) Immigration Kids
    • New separation policy
    • Cruelty for nothing
    • Immigration history
    • Genealogical hypocrisy
    • Shame shame shame

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Miley and her sleeping boy

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Figure the Angle

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s first topic is about racist morons like Schlossberg, Cunningham, and others. Second up is all the latest on Trumpgate, including ZTE and China, Qatar and Kushner, Trump Tower Moscow, Ice Cube, and of course more Cohen. Finally, some thoughts on the latest developments in Israel and Gaza. Before all that, they also squeeze in a few thoughts on the Santa Fe shooting, and on Sam finally canceling services he has been wasting money on for years. Fun stuff!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-05-19
Length this week – 1:36:55

  • (0:00:45-0:16:52) Intro
    • Agenda
    • Santa Fe shooting
    • Unused services
  • (0:18:35-0:49:53) Racist Morons
    • Schlossberg
    • Calling the Cops
    • Swatting
    • Cunningham
    • Trump
  • (0:52:07-1:18:13) Trumpgate
    • ZTE and China
    • 666 5th Ave and Qatar
    • Scandal Fatigue
    • Trump Tower Moscow
    • Ice Cube Thing
    • Informant outed
    • Cohen SARs
  • (1:18:49-1:36:34) Israel / Gaza
    • The incidents
    • Rosenberg’s 13 truths
    • Longer view

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: What the Ever Loving

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner with Sam and Ivan, three main themes: Schneiderman, Cohen, and international messes. On Schneiderman and Cohen, they hit all the developments in those scandals, as well as talking about the possible implications for the future. Internationally, they hit the developments in North Korea and with the Iran deal, as well as the newest blow up in the Israel/Iran/Syria conflict. To round things out, bits about sharpening knives, milkmen, fresh bread, and even a bonus rant about Skype. Enjoy!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-05-12
Length this week – 1:54:32

  • (0:03:06-0:14:02) Intro
    • Knife Sharpeners
    • Milkmen
    • Fresh Bread
    • Agenda
  • (0:15:21-0:44:49) Schneiderman
    • The accusations
    • Information sourcing
    • Why didn’t Trump use this?
    • How did this last so long?
    • Comparisons
  • (0:46:05-1:17:34) Cohen
    • Kickbacks to Trump?
    • Normal in DC?
    • Follow the money
    • Speculations
    • Disqualifiers
  • (1:18:42-1:54:12) International
    • North Korea
    • Iran Deal
    • Israel/Iran/Syria
    • Incompetence good?
    • Election 2018

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Crap the Whip

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about the scandals with the various Trump-related doctors. More on Dr. Jackson. Some on Dr. Bornstein. And even a little on Dr. Pena. Then it is time for Rudy! Not quite Rudy all the time, but Rudy Giuliani did make quite a mess this week, and we talk about it. Finally, a bit about Judge Ellis’ comments about the Mueller investigation, the efforts to impeach Rosenstein, and would it be wise for the Democrats to impeach Trump if they get the chance? To round things out, a bit on Cinco de Mayo and Wiki of the Day. Busy show! Enjoy!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
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Download MP3 File
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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-05-05
Length this week – 1:46:54

  • (0:01:50-0:17:41) Intro
    • Cinco de Mayo
    • Wiki of the Day anniversary
    • Agenda
  • (0:18:49-0:50:36) Trump Doctors
    • Dr. Ronny Jackson
    • Dr. Harold Bornstein
    • Dr. Jennifer Pena
  • (0:51:51-1:13:58) Rudy!
    • Reimbursement
    • Jared and Ivanka
    • Master plan?
    • Emmett Flood
  • (1:15:18-1:46:30) Other Controversies
    • Judge TS Ellis
    • Impeaching Rosenstein?
    • Impeaching Trump?

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

A Year of Wiki of the Day

A year ago yesterday, the first episode of my Wiki of the Day family of podcasts was published. It was about, well, Load Testing.

A few days later, once there were episodes of each of the variants of the podcast, I officially announced that I had launched three new podcasts. Soon after that, the podcasts were included in the Apple podcast directory and we were off to the races.

For those who don’t remember, these are COMPLETELY AUTOMATED podcasts. Each of the three variants pick one Wikipedia article per day to highlight (they just use different ways of picking which article they highlight) and use Amazon Polly to do text to speech on the article summary along with some intro and outro text to generate the podcasts themselves. Apart from the increasingly rare situations where something goes wrong and I have to debug something, this all happens without any human intervention from me at all. Which I think is kinda cool. :-)

At the 100 day mark, I posted an overview of how it was doing, but I figured now that we are at the one year mark it would be good to look again.

This is looking at unique downloaders in the trailing 7 days for all three variants combined based on IP address and UserAgent, excluding some obvious robots. In the first couple months, downloads went from zero to about 250 a week. After that, aside from spikes, the number slowly declined, so by early this year, it was more like 150 a week usually.

There were three big spikes though.

The first spike, in July 2017, was driven by the episodes about Chester Bennington and Linkin Park after Bennington’s death.

The second spike, in October 2017, was driven by the episode about Tom Petty after his death.

The third and biggest spike, which is still in progress as I write, was initially looking like a small bump for the episode about Avicii after his death, but that was then overwhelmed by the article on the Golden State Killer after Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested for those crimes. As I write, that episode has been downloaded 848 times and counting.

Also, by pure happenstance, serendipity, and coincidence (I’m practicing my redundancy), on the exact one year anniversary, the three podcasts combined exceeded 1000 unique downloaders in the previous 7 days for the first time ever. Now yes, this is from the Golden State Killer spike, and it will recede soon, but maybe we will have picked up a few long term subscribers who found the podcast through that. We shall see.

Now, the other thing to point out is that the “popular” variant is BY FAR the most popular. Excluding spikes, over the last three months or so the breakout has been something like this:

  • popular Wiki of the Day: 100-200 unique downloaders per week
  • random Wiki of the Day: 10-20 unique downloaders per week
  • featured Wiki of the Day: 10-20 unique downloaders per week

By comparison, my actual human recorded current events podcast I do with Ivan Bou has been in the range of 150-250 unique downloaders per week over the same time period.

Of the Wiki of the Day podcasts, popular gets all the love, because it highlights Wikipedia articles that were at the top of the most viewed Wikipedia page list the day before. So it is topics people are searching for information on anyway. So people search in their podcast players and find these episodes. Now, when they get there, they just get a 2-3 minute quick summary of the topic, not an in depth discussion of the subject, so it is quite possible some of the people who find it are disappointed with what they get. But hopefully at least some folks find it interesting or helpful, and end up subscribing to hear more.

They are certainly “different” sorts of podcasts though, and I can understand why it might be an acquired taste.

But it was fun to set up, and I at least find them fun to listen to each day, and sometimes I actually learn new things!

If you want to support Wiki of the Day, you should of course search for these three podcasts in your podcast player of choice, subscribe to all of them, and start listening on a regular basis! :-)

Anyway, so that is where it is after a year. It generally seems like it is in somewhat of a steady state at this point, so aside from big spikes when celebrities die or other news events, I don’t really expect much more growth. But we’ll see where it ends up in another year…