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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September 2004
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Bubble Gum

We’re way off the projected center, WAY off… so chances of us actually getting affected are small… but… we’re officially once again in the NHC danger bubble for Jeanne.

New Television Season

OK, last year I posted my Tivo Wishlists for the season. The new season is upon us, and it is time to do it again.

This time the list is much shorter. I find now with the job going full swing, and the girlfriend and daughter, and all that sort of thing, I have a lot less time to watch TV than when I was sitting unemployed up in PA. So whereas last year I had 15 shows, 4 keyword wishlists and 3 actor/actresses plus a couple of news shows… I now am down to 10 shows, 2 wishlists and one actor/actress. Plus the news.

Over the last year, I’ve changed the wishlists a few times. In addition to the one time I did a major cutback to the numbers mentioned, I’ve also adjusted what the shows and keywords were a few times. But now it is time for a major revamp for the new season.

Based on this weekend’s Emmy results (which determine 5 of my 10 shows) here will be the new wishlists for the 2004/2005 season!

2004 Emmy Winners:
* The Sopranos
* Arrested Development
* American Masters
* Samurai Jack
* The Daily Show

5 Freeform Show Choices:
* Nova
* Star Trek
* Jeopardy
* Frontline
* Stargate

2 Keywords:
* President
* Yucatan

1 Actor/Actress
* Humphrey Bogart

Then I have it always keep the latest BBC News for global news and the latest Eyewitness News for local news.

I expect a bunch of those to change as the season progresses. I want to catch the new Battlestar Galactica when it comes on in January for instance. And the new Doctor Who when it is out later in 2005. But those are still a bit away. When the time comes, some of my five free choice shows will have to go away to make room. And I want to catch the Earthsea miniseries. Things like that. I could just add more wishlists, but when I do that, I just end up with too much TV. Better to keep the numbers down, and switch them out when I want to.

Shows gone since last year: The West Wing, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons, Friends, Biography, Futurama, The Late Show, Sex and the City, Doctor Who, Queer Eye, Angel

Keywords gone since last year: Egypt, Iran, Syria, Photo

Actor/Actresses gone since last year: Reese Witherspoon, Amy Sedaris, Drew Barrymore

Also, in addition to my wishlists, Brandy also has 10 shows, 2 keywords and an actor/actress. And there are a few of her shows I watch and a few of my shows she watches. So we actually get a few more than the above. If I get Brandy’s permission I’ll post her list too. I think she has snuck in a few extra wishlists and has more than 10/2/1 right now, but we’ll have to fix that for the new season! :-)

Amy has a bunch of wishlists too for all sorts of shows. But they are on her own Tivo, so we don’t have to wade through the kids shows unless we want to. :-)

April 2004 Top Ten!!

Catching up on some web postings from when I had no site. The winners were notified way back on May 31st. But the April 2004 email results are now publicly posted. Yea!

April 2004

From most everybody else, email volume dropped considerably in April (especially Chad after his barrage in March), but the rankings stayed much the same, just a little bouncing up and down a couple spaces. Barb comes back on the list after being gone a month. Ivan slides off the bottom.

Updated Ecosystem Rankings

For the first time in a number of months, I have updated my chart of how the websites of a few of my friends and family are doing on the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem.

This time around I have included my mother’s Just Peace Advocate website. She hasn’t been updating it much lately because she has been out of the country for the last month, but she just got back, so maybe there will be updates again soon.

Abulsme.com TTLB Ecosystem Ranking

Rebecca’s Cackling Jackal remains far and above the most popular of the sites I am tracking. She’s got lots of folks linking to her. :-) She seems to have peaked in her rankings sometime in June though.

Darkflash: 3… 2… 1…

Another in the series of posts of things that would have been blog posts if I’d had a blog during the months the blog was dark.

The following was emailed to friends and family August 3, 2004 06:59:16 UTC.

So I woke up about 06:05 UTC and realized that I was awake in time for the scheduled 06:15:56 UTC launch of the Messenger spacecraft to Mercury. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to see anything at all from home, so I didn’t wake up Brandy or Amy. But I put on NASA TV… well, OK, it was already on, I’d put it on several hours earlier before I went to sleep… I had hoped to stay awake for it, but had fallen asleep. I hadn’t set an alarm or anything, but woke up just in the nick of time. NASA TV was annoying me because they were covering something happening on the space station instead… docking with a supply ship or some such… but they did mention that Messenger was a go and should be launching in just under 5 minutes.

So a minute before time I went outside and looked North in the general direction of Cape Canaveral, not really expecting to see much. I watched on my atomic set clock as the designated time ticked by. I didn’t see much. It was a little cloudy. So, “Oh well” I thought and turned around to go back in… and saw a big fireball in the sky!

As it turned out I was muddled in my having just woken up 5 minutes ago state, and had been looking east, not north. But to the North I could see it very clearly. It had just cleared the trees obscuring my view in that direction. It was bright. It was flaming. There were sparks coming off the back. It was headed straight up for a bit, then turned to the east and headed away. I watched it as it got further away and got dimmer and the angle got more horizontal seeming.

Then the sound hit. A really loud sub-woofer-style bone rattling rumble. And then the sound continued. And continued. The spacecraft was no longer visible. I headed inside for a second. A minute later I came back out. The rumble was still going, and actually even louder. The rumble lasted a good five minutes before you couldn’t hear it any longer. And you could FEEL it for a little while even past then.

I was very excited. This was my first actual rocket launch! And I am close enough to the cape to see it from my front yard!!! And not only to see it, but to FEEL IT. I know this is old hat to Ivan, who has seen a few of these, and maybe to any of the rest of you if you have. But I thought it was very cool. I immediately regretted not having woken up Brandy or Amy. But with the clouds and everything, and not knowing exactly how much would be visible or not from the house, I didn’t know if it would be worth it. Now I know. It is very worth it! (Well, at least until it gets boring after a few times I guess.)

This was a Delta 2 rocket carrying the Messenger spacecraft. According to NASA’s site, the next scheduled launch from here is an Atlas 2AS on August 31st with a spy satellite for the NRO. Then the next one is a test launch of a Delta 4 in September. I’ll definitely have to check those out! Uh, if I can remember.

Anyway, I’m sorry I didn’t wake up Brandy and Amy for it, but as excited as I was, didn’t see much point in waking them up AFTER it was over, so I decided to email all of you instead. It was cool. I like rockets! :-)

Closer to the Source

Remember way back when on those forged Yellowcake documents that were part of the case for going into Iraq? I wondered a few times why people were just concentrating on why the administration was fooled (or wanted to be fooled). I said the bigger story that nobody was talking much about was where did the docs come from. Well, a bunch of people have been slowly working on that. Here is the latest development.

Agent behind fake uranium documents worked for France
(Bruce Johnson, Telegraph)

The Italian businessman at the centre of a furious row between France and Italy over whose intelligence service was to blame for bogus documents suggesting Saddam Hussein was seeking to buy material for nuclear bombs has admitted that he was in the pay of France.

(via Captain’s Quarters)

Interesting. The speculation is that France planted it in the hopes that the US would use it, so France could then expose it at an appropriate time to make the US look silly and hurt the pro-war argument. Hmm. Maybe. We’ll see what continues to come out. Initially though, my first reaction is that it is the same kind of conspiracy thinking as those who thought Rove was behind the forged Bush national guard docs. In both cases, we’re talking people forging documents that build cases against themselves in the hopes the forgeries will be discovered (but not traced all the way back to them) and then make the people who actually use the forgeries in public look bad. Very high risk plan. Lots of potential for backfire. But which COULD work if it went exactly according to plan.

In the case of the forged Bush documents, it now looks pretty clear that a less convoluted path explains what happened. The originator looks like it was this Bill Burkett guy who has been trying to rile up the National Gaurd issue against for many years and who may have “recreated” these documents, the originals of which were supposedly destoryed years ago. No oddness, no strange loops. Just a guy with an agenda who thought this could help his cause, but who was completely wrong and ended up with the opposite result than he intended. And the people along the chain who wished it was true so much they passed it along without even the slightest bit of doubt or questioning.

Hmmm… that part sounds like the Yellowcake docs again. Maybe they are similar after all. Maybe the “they came from French Intelligence” thing will pan out. I haven’t seen enough to make a judgement yet. But on these sorts of things, Occam’s Razor *usually* wins out in the end. But not always. We will see.

Atlanta

Well, didn’t make it home. The flight was delayed several more times as weather in the Newark area (and all over the mid-Atlantic) caused delays. Newark only had one runway open. So even after the plane arrived, there was delay after delay. It was about 30 minutes late to board. Maybe a bit more. Dunno. Forgot to count. Then a lot longer delay sitting on the plane. Ended up leaving just before 9 PM rather than just before 7 PM. Which means we missed our connection in Atlanta, which was the last flight to Melbourne for the night.

Which means I am at the Airport Marriot for the night. There was an 8 something in the morning flight, but we’d have to get up way too early for that, so we are booked on a 10 something flight. So I’ll get about 6 hours of sleep. Then head home.

Time for ZZZzzz…

Gate 46

Business trip went well I think. We had a good time and got a lot done. We’re now at Newark airport for our flights home. So far the Newark to Atlanta is delayed about 15 minutes, but we should still be able to make our connection to Melbourne. So all is good. So far.

Had a good dinner with the other person from work for my birthday last night. ESPN Zone in Times Square. Sports is not my thing, but it was close and the food was fine. I got full. It was good.

But I’m glad to be heading home. Weill do the real birthday thing with Brandy and Amy tomorrow. That will be good. I guess we’ll also take down the plywood on the windows tomorrow. When I left nobody in the neighborhood had taken theirs down yet due to Ivan. And Jeanne. But looks like we’ll be fine on those, so probably time to take them down.

Then again Jeanne is turning. It shouldn’t be a big deal for us unless it turns a lot more though. But maybe if the neighbors are leaving theirs up a little while longer, we’ll wait a couple more days too. :-)

On the other hand, it is too dark in there! :-)

12052.9926 Days

While I was in the airport in Melbourne, waiting for my flight (which never left, but I’ll get to that later), I passed the milestone of 12052.9926 days since I was born. Woot Woot! Go me. It happened 15 Sep 2004 at 20:47:29 UTC. I was born at 16 Sep 1971 20:58:00 UTC. 12052.9926 days is of course 33 times 365.242199 days which is the approximate length of a year in days. Wow, that is a long time.

At the time it happened, I had no idea. I had meant to calculate the exact time it would happen in advance, but I didn’t get to it. Right as it happened (or a little after) they were telling us that our flight from Melbourne to Atlanta, after being delayed several times, had been cancelled completely due to mechanical problems with the plane. (Namely lack of pressure in a fire supression system for one of the engines… something they were not equipped to fix in Melbourne.) The next flight out of Melbourne would be too late for us to make connections in Atlanta for the New York area. So we scrambled for options for a bit, consulted with our management on what we should do, then we found a flight from Orlando to Laguardia that we might be able to make. Someone from work picked us up and drove us to Orlando… um… at a bit above the speed limit… we got to the gate about 6 minutes before boarding begain.

Anyway, in the hotel in Manhattan now. Right off Times Square. Need to be up in about 7 hours in order to get ready for the meetings we are here for. It is good that we made it. This is the second half of a series of meetings we cut short to run back home for Hurricane Frances. They would not have been happy again if we needed to reschedule again!

So, enough of that. 33 is fun so far. I’ll go to sleep now.

Apple Sauce

Waiting at the airport right nor for my flight out of Melborne to Newark via changing planes in Atlanta. Woo. This is finishing off the business trip in Manhattan I needed to cut short in order to come home to deal with Hurricane Frances. Should be interesting. Lots of talk about workflow. I always like workflow. The issue always ends up being just how much rigid workflow you REALLY want to enforce. People often think they want it, but once they get it, they regret it.

Anyway… waiting for security to pen so I can go to the gate. Plane leaves in a little over an hour. Before that maybe I’ll get a drink or some magazines to read. I haven’t fully unpacked my pile of books to read yet, so I can’t do that. :-)

If all goes well, I’ll be home by aroun 06:00 UTC on Saturday. But by the time we are heading home, what is left of Hurricane Ivan is due to be sitting over Atlanta making bad weather. So there may be weather delays.

No internet in the hotel I am going to. I may manage to get dialup working or stop at a Starbucks, but maybe not.

I’ll be there a short time, in midtown Manhattan, without a rental car or anything, so it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to see any of my NJ/PA friends this time around, unless they want to meet me in Times Square late Thursday evening or something. :-)

Maybe next time!