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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Curmudgeon’s Corner: See How It Plays

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Ed and Darryl join Sam. Ivan was gallivanting in Brazil or something. Four main topics this time. Syria. North Korea. Comey. Cohen. Maybe a few other things around the edges, but that’s the gist of it.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-04-19
Length this week – 1:31:03

  • (0:00:15-0:02:29) Intro
  • (0:04:29-0:28:36) Syria
  • (0:29:56-0:47:18) North Korea
  • (0:49:00-1:05:01) Comey
  • (1:05:40-1:24:47) Cohen
  • (1:25:23-1:30:43) Outro

 

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: Failed Lightning

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan try to do an all lightning round show, but fail spectacularly. Their first segment is… movies!! Both Sam and Ivan talk about their thoughts on some movies they have seen recently. Then they do a segment on the Cohen raid and all the implications that arise from that. Then a mini-segment on Syria… recorded before the US/UK/France airstrikes… then FINALLY they do an actual lightning round to finish things up, including brief discussions on Scooter Libby, Zuckerberg’s testimony, international corruption, an update on tariffs, and much much more!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-04-13
Length this week – 1:43:26

  • (0:01:05-0:26:11) Movies
    • Ivan: Darkest Hour (2017)
    • Ivan: Burn After Reading (2008)
    • Sam: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    • Sam: Coco (2017)
    • Sam: Black Panther (2018)
    • Sam: The Luck of the Irish (2001)
  • (0:27:32-0:52:17) Cohen Raid
    • The raid itself
    • Repercussions and reactions
    • Clarifications on predictions
    • Love child payoff
    • Lordy there are tapes!
    • Firings coming?
  • (0:53:59-1:02:33) Syria
    • Chemical Weapons
    • What good will a strike do?
    • Americans killing Russians
  • (1:04:33-1:43:06) Lightning Round
    • Ivan: Scooter Libby
    • Sam: Changing approach to Russia?
    • Ivan: Trump/Panama thing
    • Sam: UK/Russian spy recovering
    • Ivan: Zuckerberg testimony
    • Sam: Corruption around the world
    • Ivan: Paul Ryan decision
    • Sam: Boehner and marijuana
    • Ivan: CBO deficit estimates
    • Sam: Did China blink on tariffs?

 

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: Tic for Tac

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan start out talking about getting vaccinations for travel, and how the crazy news of the last two years has resulted in Sam reading fewer books, and what he will do about it. But quickly enough, the conversation gravitates where it almost always does these days. Trump! First they try to stay focused very specifically on policy issues. Trump on Syria. Trump on tariffs. Trump on Mexico. Things like that. But for the last segment, they do once again concentrate on Trump’s various scandals. The Mueller investigation. Stormy and McDougal. Pruitt. Sorry, it just can’t be avoided!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-04-06
Length this week – 1:43:54

  • (0:01:00-0:19:41) Travel Vaccinations / Not Enough Books
  • (0:21:23-1:05:50) Stupid Trump Policy Stuff
  • (1:06:29-1:43:34) Stupid Trump Scandal Stuff

 

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.

I’m not reading enough. I blame Trump. And Twitter.

I’ve been thinking lately about how I have not been reading nearly enough books lately. This is a problem.

I’ve been tracking the books I read since 2006. The graph above quantifies it. Although I was bad in 2007-2009 too, I’d been keeping up a decent pace of reading from 2010-2015.

A decent pace for me anyway. My average in those years was 13.5 books per year. I know a lot of people read much more than that… and I even read more than that myself when I was much younger… but I think I’m OK with anything above 12 per year at the moment. One per month.

In 2016 I fell off a cliff though. I only finished FIVE books. In 2017 it was even worse. Only THREE.

I semi-joke that I blame Trump and Twitter, but there actually is quite a bit of truth to it. Starting with the 2016 election year, and going forward into the Trump administration, it has felt like if you turned away for even a few moments, you would miss something important happening. So all those spare moments that I previously might have spent reading a book (or even listening to an audio book), instead were spent on Twitter, listening to live news, listening to news related podcasts, or whatever.

The key being it had to be real time or near real time. Reading tweets from a few minutes ago? Of course! Reading an article that was written earlier today? OK, fine. Reading an article that was written yesterday…  MAYBE, if it was a really important one, but you’re stretching it. That is way too far out of date! A magazine article from a week ago? Don’t make me laugh! A book written years ago? Doing that felt like every moment spent on that was a moment I was disengaged and out of the stream of what was happening. What did I miss in the time it took to read that chapter? That was just painful.

All of that is of course silly. Nothing bad will happen if I disengage with the news for a few minutes to read a book. Frankly, if anything really big happens, I’ll get an alert anyway. But even if I didn’t, it isn’t like I have to DO anything with that news in real time. I’m not going to be the one making big decisions in reaction to that news. I’ll talk about it on my podcast maybe, but that is a weekly thing. Maybe I’ll want to tweet, or even though I haven’t done it much in recent years, write a blog post. But all that can wait. And is frankly optional anyway.

I can take 20 minutes (or more!) at the end of the day before bed or pull up my Kindle app sometimes on my phone instead of Tweetbot when I have spare moments here or there. I can listen to an audio book on my commute home instead of a news related podcast or live news channel stream! I can! I really can!

So a few days ago I made a resolution. Lets call it an April Fool’s resolution even though it wasn’t quite on April 1st. I decided that for 2018 I’ll make a conscious effort to do a bit more book reading than I have in the last two years. Maybe I won’t exceed the 17 books finished that I hit in 2011 and 2014, but maybe I can at least beat my average over the last decade of 9.9 books per year by finishing at least 10. Maybe I can even manage a one book per month average!

I’ve finished only 1 so far this year, so I’ve got to get to it. In the last week I’ve probably already read more and listened to more audio book content than I had in the previous three months, so I guess I’m off to a decent start…

I’m way down on watching TV shows and movies too, but dealing with that can wait for another day, or maybe that is just fine…

The last “book” post I did was the list of all the books I finished in 2011. To catch up, here is a list of all the books I finished from 2012 to 2017. I used to do little mini-reviews of each book as I went along, but no time for that, so just a list… I’ll report back on 2018 once it is over to see how I did.

2012 (3 Physical, 8 Kindle, 0 Audible = 11 total)

  1. 2012-02-10, Fiction, Kindle, We the Living by Rand
  2. 2012-03-16, Non-Fiction, Physical, Beautiful Evidence by Tufte
  3. 2012-03-18, Fiction, Kindle, 2nd Chance by Patterson
  4. 2012-05-09, Non-Fiction, Physical, Alex and Me by Pepperberg
  5. 2012-05-28, Fiction, Kindle, Heavy Planet by Clement
  6. 2012-06-10, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Lies and Outliers by Schneier
  7. 2012-06-22, Fiction, Kindle, Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis and Hickman
  8. 2012-07-14, Non-Fiction, Kindle, The President’s Club by Gibbs and Duffy
  9. 2012-09-02, Fiction, Kindle, Roots by Haley
  10. 2012-10-01, Non-Fiction, Physical, The 4-Dimensional Manager by Straw
  11. 2012-10-07, Fiction, Kindle, Containment by Cantrell

2013 (1 Physical, 8 Kindle, 0 Audible = 9 total)

  1. 2013-01-13, Non-Fiction, Kindle, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Morris
  2. 2013-01-16, Fiction, Kindle, The Wandering Falcon by Ahmad
  3. 2013-02-06, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Kanban by Anderson
  4. 2013-03-02, Fiction, Kindle, A Time to Kill by Grisham
  5. 2013-05-20, Non-Fiction, Physical, Steve Jobs by Isaacson
  6. 2013-05-27, Fiction, Kindle, A Drink Before the War by Lehane
  7. 2013-10-04, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Bayesian Data Analysis by Gelman, Carlin, Stern, and Rubin
  8. 2013-10-19, Fiction, Kindle, Things Fall Apart by Achebe
  9. 2013-11-24, Non-Fiction, Kindle, You Are Not So Smart by McRaney

2014 (2 Physical, 7 Kindle, 8 Audible = 17 total)

  1. 2014-01-28, Fiction, Physical, The Last Town on Earth by Mullen
  2. 2014-05-21, Non-Fiction, Audible, Fear Itself by Katznelson
  3. 2014-06-20, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Making Things Happen by Berkun
  4. 2014-07-05, Fiction, Kindle, A Spark of Death by Pajer
  5. 2014-07-09, Non-Fiction, Physical, Change the Way You See Everything by Cramer and Wasiak
  6. 2014-07-16, Fiction, Audible, 11/22/63 by King
  7. 2014-08-04, Non-Fiction, Audible, Hidden America by Laskas
  8. 2014-08-18, Fiction, Audible, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Sloan
  9. 2014-09-02, Fiction, Kindle, The People of the Ruins by Shanks
  10. 2014-10-01, Non-Fiction, Audible, The Fabric of the Cosmos by Greene
  11. 2014-11-11, Fiction, Audible, The Many-Colored Land by May
  12. 2014-11-26, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Head First Java by Sierra and Bates
  13. 2014-11-26, Non-Fiction, Audible, My Beloved World by Sotomayor
  14. 2014-11-27, Fiction, Audible, Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Sloan
  15. 2014-11-29, Fiction, Kindle, Shadows in Flight by Card
  16. 2014-12-15, Non-Fiction, Kindle, The Final Days by Woodward and Bernstein
  17. 2014-12-18, Fiction, Kindle, The Ice Dragon by Martin

2015 (1 Physical, 1 Kindle, 13 Audible = 15 total)

  1. 2015-01-09, Non-Fiction, Audible, Reckless Engagement by Morgenson and Rosner
  2. 2015-01-20, Fiction, Audible, No Longer at Ease by Achebe
  3. 2015-02-12, Non-Fiction, Audible, American Emperor by Stewart
  4. 2015-03-02, Fiction, Audible, Darkness Take My Hand by Lehane
  5. 2015-03-27, Non-Fiction, Audible, Writing on the Wall by Standage
  6. 2015-04-09, Non-Fiction, Physical, The Online Advertising Playbook by Plummer, Rappaport, Hall, and Barocci
  7. 2015-04-17, Fiction, Audible, Earth Unaware by Card and Johnston
  8. 2015-05-15, Non-Fiction, Audible, The Selfish Gene by Dawkins
  9. 2015-05-18, Fiction, Kindle, Storm Front by Butcher
  10. 2015-05-22, Fiction, Audible, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Adams
  11. 2015-07-31, Non-Fiction, Audible, Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 1 by Twain
  12. 2015-09-01, Fiction, Audible, The Scarlatti Inheritance by Ludlum
  13. 2015-10-05, Non-Fiction, Audible, The Son Also Rises by Clark
  14. 2015-10-13, Fiction, Audible, The Scarlet Plague by London
  15. 2015-12-23, Non-Fiction, Audible, Conversations with Myself by Mandela

2016 (0 Physical, 2 Kindle, 3 Audible = 5 total)

  1. 2016-01-20, Fiction, Audible, Prince Caspian by Lewis
  2. 2016-05-28, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Dutch by Morris
  3. 2016-07-02, Fiction, Kindle, Earth Afire by Card and Johnson
  4. 2016-11-15, Non-Fiction, Audible, Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 2 by Twain
  5. 2016-11-29, Fiction, Audible, 2001 by Clarke

2017 (0 Physical, 1 Kindle, 2 Audible = 3 total)

  1. 2017-03-08, Non-Fiction, Audible, Stiff by Roach
  2. 2017-04-08, Fiction, Audible, With the Night Mail by Kipling
  3. 2017-05-30, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Spam by Brunton

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Not As Bad As It Sounds

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan discuss Ivan’s impressions of attending the DC “March for Our Lives” event in person… including the implications for the wider gun debate. Then they talk about the online privacy issues that have been around for years, but are now getting more attention because of the recent headlines about how social media was manipulated during Election 2016. Oh, and Ivan recently returned from a trip to Singapore, so he shares his impression of that city too.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-03-30
Length this week – 1:34:36

  • (0:01:30-0:04:06) Agenda
  • (0:05:14-0:15:28) Singapore
  • (0:16:43-1:01:06) March for Our Lives
  • (1:01:42-1:34:16) Online privacy

 

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.

Clouds

Timelapse of overhead clouds from just south of Everett, WA on 2018-03-25.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Toy Swords

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam is joined by his wife Brandy. They spend the biggest part of the show discussing… or maybe arguing about… changing how you talk about things in order to avoid offending, insulting, or excluding people… or as it is most commonly called, politically correct speech. Then Cambridge Analytica gets its turn. Is it a big deal? Or not? Finally, Sam and Brandy’s son Alex once again joins the show for some video game commentary, placed conveniently at the end of the show.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-03-24
Length this week – 2:05:21

  • (0:01:05-0:06:10) Agenda
  • (0:06:49-0:57:37) Political Correctness
  • (0:58:22-1:37:38) Cambridge Analytica
  • (1:39:38-2:05:00) Video Games

 

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: Soap Opera of the Royal Court

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan get some feedback. It seems last week’s show was their worst show ever. Too much Russia conspiracy theory stuff and Trump palace intrigue stuff. Not enough on “real” policy stuff. So they talk about that feedback and defend themselves a bit. Then they move on to talk about, well, uh, Trump palace intrigue stuff. They wrap it up with reaction to PA-18 and what it may mean for Election 2018, which is at least a little different, right?

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-03-16
Length this week – 1:50:18

  • (0:01:00-0:10:36) Daylight Saving Time
  • (0:11:15-0:46:01) Feedback
  • (0:47:43-1:25:11) White House Staff
  • (1:26:31-1:49:59) 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: Into Knots

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Ivan and Sam cover all the big items from the last crazy week. They’ve got tariffs and North Korea, but also that Seychelles meeting, Russia maybe vetoing Romney, the Belarusian escort, Nunberg’s meltdown, the poisoned spy in the UK… and there is still more! They didn’t forget Kellyanne Conway, or Stormy, or Trump’s hotel in Panama, or Zinke’s door. A fun packed week for sure!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-03-09
Length this week – 1:56:47

  • (0:00:15-0:07:51) Intro Stuff
  • (0:08:28-0:36:20) Policy Stuff
  • (0:38:20-1:26:56) Russia Stuff
  • (1:28:23-1:56:26) Other Stuff

 

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: Chaos Show

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about the chaotic week that was. Donald Trump throwing grenades into the gun and trade policy debates, the mounting reports of corruption within the administration, and the usual, but seemingly intensifying, chaos within the White House staff itself. Oh, and Ivan caused some chaos himself by accidentally calling 911 from the airport. A fun filled show!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-03-03
Length this week – 1:42:36

  • (0:00:15-0:13:06) Phone Chaos
  • (0:13:51-0:50:51) Issue Chaos
  • (0:52:10-1:15:02) Corruption Chaos
  • (1:16:25-1:42:16) Staffing Chaos

 

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.