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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2003 Q3 Random Vacation – Day 0

Day 0 is now posted. Enjoy.

2003 Q3 Random Vacation – Day 0

Then they started boarding.  Marilyn was not back.  Almost the whole plane boarded.  Just a few people left.  I was anxiously looking for Marilyn.  We were going to miss our plane!!

Then, out of the mist, doing her best OJ Simpson…  no, not the knife thing, the running through the airport thing…

July 2003 Top Ten

The new monthly top ten email list is out. Woo!

July 2003 Top Ten

Email volume was WAY up in July compared to June. People must have really been bored. :-) Lets see, what interesting things happened? Kelly continues her downward slide in email volume and actually drops of the list this month. Marilyn, despite letting her quota fill up multiple times, puts in what in some months would be a decent performance, but isn’t quite enough to make it this time.

Day Negative One

Day Zero of the 2003 Q3 random trip will begin in about 9 hours. I am of course not ready yet. I will be leaving work early (shortly) since I have completed everything I really need to complete before leaving on vacation. Then I will scramble this afternoon to get done a bunch of things I have been putting off all week, but need to get done before leaving. Bills first and foremost, so I know how much money I have, or don’t have, for the vacation. But also a couple email top ten related things, and UNpacking some things, since I need to take some things wiht me on vacation that are currently packed away in boxes. Problem is, I have no idea which boxes. Oops. I may also go shopping real quick for some camping supplies. Dunno. We’ll see how things go.

Anyway, once on the random trip, I probably won’t blog much. I intend to put out a blog entry whenever I add a new “Day” to the trip log. I try to get them up just a day or two after they actually happen, but realistically… last time it took me about three months to complete the vacation website. I don’t plan on letting that happen again, but it isn’t going to be real time or anything. And I probably won’t put up many (if any) entries on other topics.

Maybe sometime after I get back from vacation and the vacation is fully posted, I will start blogging on other topics, like, you know, the news.

Oh yeah, one more thing, from what I’ve been hearing through the grapevine, it is highly likely that I (and all people of my rank who used to but no longer have actual formal teams reporting to them) will lose our offices and be put into cubes when we move to a new space around October. Lovely. Whatever. I wonder if there are comapnies looking to hire closer to my new house. :-)

Burger Overdose

And people get on me for occationally haveing a “Triple” at Wendy’s. Get a load of this guy.

Jared eats a 16 patty cheeseburger

Makes me want to never eat a burger again! Hmmm… or maybe I’ll pick up one of those triples from Wendy’s on the way home tonight. Yum!

(via BuzzMachine)

Goodbye Quail Ridge (Part 2)

Well, this was it. The couple from “Excellent Cleaning” came over one last time. They did a final once over of everything and vacuumed and scrubbed everything down. Even some things I wouldn’t have thought of cleaning.

Then after they were gone, I stood there for a bit, and looked at my old apartment to say goodbye. I went through every room, thinking about things that had happened there over the years. It was sad. And yes, I teared up a little. OK, the place wasn’t much. Just basic housing. But it had been home for almost seven years. Sniff.

I locked the door one last time, went to the leasing office, turned in the keys and headed out. One last stop at the post office to return the mailbox keys, and that was that. I am no longer a Quail Ridge resident.

Of course, I still have to pay rent for two more months. But that’s how these things go when you leave before the end of your lease. Oh well!

So now I think I’m 100% Yardlean. Or however you say a person from Yardley. Or Lower Makefield. Or whatever. :-)

Traveling Mom

Following up trips in the past few years to Mozambique, Thailand and Sri Lanka, my mom is at it again…

Hi – am negotiating with my church but I may be making another almost-free trip! Just got a request that I join a small women’s delegation to Colombia in October – five days only – to visit “women’s empowerment projects” – I THINK it will work out to go but it means with previous commitments that I would only preach in church every other Sunday for six weeks – here three, gone three – so I really need some approval before I accept! Would have to pay my own way to Miami but the rest would be paid from the Latin America office of Global Ministries. I suspect we would be mainly in Bogota – which I last saw for only 3 days in 1969 (I think!)

I am jealous of some of these trips, they sound like a great deal of fun and would be very interesting and educational. Perhaps one day my random trips will expand to take me to some places of that sort. Although I must admit, that would really stretch my comfort zone! But that can’t be a bad thing, right?

On my random trips I *do* exclude places with current State Department Travel Warnings though. My mom appearantly does not. There is indeed a Current Warning for Columbia:

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Colombia. Terrorist and criminal violence by narcotraffickers, guerrillas, illegal self-defense (paramilitary) groups and other criminal elements continues to affect all parts of the country, urban and rural. Citizens of the United States and other countries continue to be the victims of threats, kidnappings, domestic airline hijackings and murders. Threats targeting official and long-term resident Americans are expected to continue and possibly increase in response to U.S. support for Colombian drug eradication programs. Colombian groups have been known to operate in the border areas of neighboring countries, creating similar dangers for travelers in those areas. Bombings have occurred throughout Colombia, including a steady recent rise in attacks on civilian targets in urban areas. This trend shows no sign of abating in the near future, and some foreign interests have been among the targets. … There is a greater risk of being kidnapped in Colombia than in any other country in the world. In the past three years, 26 Americans were reported kidnapped in various parts of the country. American kidnap or murder victims have included journalists, missionaries, scientists, human rights workers, U.S. government employees and businesspeople, as well as persons on tourism or family visits, and even small children.

Nice.

Well, I’m sure my mom will enjoy it. :-)

Graph Data Wanted

I am working on a graph and analysis I think will be interesting to quantify the oft repeated but infrequently quantified statements about taller candidates winning more often in presidential races. I have a lot of data already, but for completeness I still need the heights of a bunch of losing presidential candidates of the past. If anybody out there has this information (and a URL or reference to document it) or just has pointers on where to look, I would much appreciate it.

With a little googling I was able to quickly find the heights of all the top two electoral vote getters for every election since 1788, EXCEPT these guys:

1800 – Aaron Burr (Democratic-Republican)
1804 – Charles Pinckney (Federalist)
1808 – Charles Pinckney (Federalist)
1812 – DeWitt Clinton (Federalist)
1816 – Rufus King (Federalist)
1832 – Henry Clay (National Republican)
1844 – Henry Clay (Whig)
1848 – Lewis Cass (Democrat)
1852 – Winfield Scott (Whig)
1856 – John Fremont (Republican)
1860 – John Breckenridge (Southern Democrat)
1868 – Horatio Seymour (Democrat)
1872 – Horace Greeley (Democrat)
1876 – Samuel Tilden (Democrat)
1880 – Winfield Hancock (Democrat)
1884 – James Blaine (Republican)
1904 – Alton Parker (Democrat)
1916 – Charles Hughes (Republican)
1920 – James Cox (Democrat)
1924 – John Davis (Democrat)
1928 – Alfred Smith (Democrat)
1936 – Alfred Landon (Republican)
1940 – Wendell Willkie (Republican)
1952 – Adlai Stevenson (Democrat)
1956 – Adlai Stevenson (Democrat)
1964 – Barry Goldwater (Republican)
1968 – Hubert Humphrey (Democrat)
1972 – George McGovern (Democrat)
1984 – Walter Mondale (Democrat)

OK, that is a lot I still haven’t found. Finding the heights of the people who won and became president was easy. Unless the height was unusual though, finding heights for the losers is harder. I may do a bit more google hunting, but I am suspecting a trip to a dusty old library to find out of print biographies or contemporary reports on some of these people may be needed.

Right now with the data I do have, the “taller usually wins” thing is definately holding up, with the effect being much stronger in the 20th century than the 19th. In addition, there seems to be a correlation (albiet a very weak one and possibly not significant) that the greater the height difference, the larger the margin of victory. Effects can be seen both looking at popular vote results, and electoral college results. Very interesting.

However at this point I only have complete height data for 25 out of 54 elections.

That’s less than half. So the trends I am seeing in the graphs may completely go away and turn into something else entirely based on the remaining data. So I’m not ready to show any graphs or actually draw any conclusions until I have more data.

Anyway, this is fun stuff. I’ve kept hearing the “taller wins” story for years, but never seen the data to back it up, and I’ve searched for it on the web multiple times before. I’m sure the research has been done before, what I am doing here is not original, but I guess it just hasn’t been put up on the web, or perhaps I just haven’t been using the right search terms to find it.

Since I couldn’t find the info on the web or any actual statistical analysis, I thought I would do it myself.

But getting the heights of some of these famous at the time but now completely obscure people from the 1800’s, egads! Not to mention even people still around like Walter Mondale. I would have thought his height would have just popped up right away on a search, but NO. They have to make it hard! :-) On each I would try various google searches for about 10 minutes, then if I hadn’t found a height I would move on. If I did find one, I’d document the source and get my data point. But like I said, some of these heights may take more than 10 minutes on Google to find!

Anyway, if anybody has some tips or info on the people above, please let me know!

Connectivity Issues

So, Comcast finally, after about 24 hours, got my second IP working. Woo! I was excited. They left me a voice mail while I was at work. As soon as I got home I checked things out. Both computers could see the internet. Woo! The Internet could see both computers. Woo Two!

But… neither computer could see the other one. Which is kind of a big deal. I mean, one of the reasons I have this is to be able to easily share things between the two machines, run a print server, all sorts of other things. Not to mention being able to update my site.

I emailed Greg and Chris for advice. Greg was stumped. Chris hasn’t answered yet. I did end up calling Comcast customer service and put in a ticket that was escallated to the next level of support.

I am suspecting though that this is intentional on their part though. Which would be a major PITA.

I could get only one IP from them and change to using a router to connect my two machines, but that would cause some other hassles.

Or, Greg suggested dumpinmg cable and switching to DSL. If Comcast doesn’t let me do what I want (which by the way worked perfectly in NJ, which was also Comcast) then I may have to seriously consider that.

This sucks. I’ve actually had to dial up via my cellphone just to access things on the second computer downstairs from where I was sitting.

Not Happy.

Idaho Random Trip Update

I’ve updated the Idaho Random Trip page with where we will be staying while we are there. Hotels the first and last days, then a rented condo for the time in Ketchum. Seth will probably join us only three days. It will be me, Chad and Marilyn the rest of the time. We’ll try to do the spot quest and camping while Seth is there with us.

In any case, if anybody decides at the last minute you want to join us, the info on how to find us is there. :-)

Abulsme.com is Home!

Well, a few hours ago I got home and plugged the G3 in. It started working fine pretty quickly. But then my other connection was dead. Looked like I had only one IP.

Now, at this point let me say I *know* I could just use a cheap hub, and run everything off one IP instead of paying a few bucks extra for a second IP. A little port forwarding and everything would be fine. But I *like* having seperate external addresses… so there.

Anyway, my first call to Comcast support said that my order for the second IP was in, but it had not been provisioned yet, and sometimes it takes a few hours. If it wasn’t there in two hours, call again.

I called again in two hours, cause it still wasn’t there. I could have either my Airport basestation online, or the G3, but not both. The woman ran me through some checks, had me reboot everything (I’d already done that a few times). But nothing. Plus, she said my modem wasn’t reporting back properly. It reported back that it knew it was supposed to give out 2 IP’s, but it also reported that NOBODY was connected to it, and one of my machines was happily on the net.

She said she would keep working on it, and would call me back later tonight if she had news, otherwise I should call again in the morning and reference the case number.

Oh well. I’m keeping abulsme.com online, not my laptop, so rather than doing email or anything, I think I’m going upstairs to watch TV.

Hopefully this will all be worked out quickly. :-)