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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November 2004
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Found by CrazyBrave

A while ago I made a post about various people using my pictures. Well, one of them found that post through their own referral tracker and posted about me:

The dying whimper of Pandagate …
(Zoe, CrazyBrave)

My sister told me, after seeing her compost bin on the internet, that I needed a new hobby. Not as badly as this guy does.

She was refering to my Email Contest which she linked to in her post. Now, now, I know I am behind a bit on the count at the moment due to having to reconstruct September in the way I am, but no need to toss that out completely as a hobby!

But perhaps a couple new hobbies too wouldn’t be bad. :-)

The Happy Haunting Red Thing

Well, it is now Monday, and the nice four day weekend is over. In just over six hours I need to be getting up to get ready for work. Which means I need to head to sleep shortly. But as I am returning to work, I thought I would share something about work.

At work there is a painting. It is above the copy machine. Near the printers. I walk by it many times. It haunts me throughout the working day and it follows me home and torments me in my dreams! This is it:

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OK. Naked girl in a funny pose. I’m perfectly OK with that.

But what the hell is the red face thing floating above her and taunting her??? It looks like it is happy and celebrating in her obvious agony. What kind of sadistic pokemon sort of thing is it?? I have visions of it bouncing up and down in glee as thousands writhe in pain and torment. And probably singing some sort of song in a voice somewhat reminicent of Barney, but higher.. and perkier… and more insistant! A cross between a happy gurgling baby and a floating disembodied demon head spawned from the depths of hell. And she can do nothing but slap her head in disbelief and pain as it tortures her through all eternity!

Um, or something like that.

It is signed “B. Zong”. But I could not find any reference to such an artist googling on the name. If anybody knows more, feel free to let me know.

B. Zong, whoever you are, your painting is slowly driving me insane!!!

Um, or something like that.

School Dragon

imageI got an email recently from PhotoSig asking why I haven’t submitted anything in a long time. So I looked through the last year of pictures, and nope, there really wasn’t anything worthy of submitting either there or to the Nikon Challenge, both of which a couple years back I was putting things up on a couple times a month. I’ve got a bunch of snapshots, but no “Photographs” of the frame and put on a wall sort. Oops. That stuff was fun. I have to do that again sometime. I should try to get into it again in the new year.

In the meantime though, when I looked through the pictures, I did find one I meant to blog about at the time but for whatever reason never did.

Last year they had an oil spill at Amy’s elementary school in Pennsylvania. They had to move the kids to another school for a month or so while the cleaned it up. When they moved back into the school, they put up some decorations that reflected what they just gone through. Their mascot was a dragon. There had been an oil spill. So an oil well of course. And they should be together. Thus, this modified version of their dragon was on the wall of the elementary school gym for the rest of the year. Um… I just thought there was something not quite right about that. Oh well!

August 2004 Top Ten!!

Back near the end of September I notified the winners, but it is now posted here. Yea!

August 2004

No time to write very much for this top ten. I am writing by battery power while Hurricane Jeanne is roaring overhead. So no really exciting analysis. Kelly decided to win and did. Ivan and Ron are back after being gone awhile. Marilyn fell off the list.

Of course, the sad thing is, the web is now completely caught up with the actual count. Because of the hard drive explosion in October, the September count is still not complete. I have all the raw material needed at this point to recreate the count as best I can (although not perfectly). And I have done some of that work, but not all. I need to get back to that. I am way behind. Then after that I have to do October, which will be similarly labor intensive!

Without October’s results, I won’t know who has to get Christmas presents! Now that August’s results are posted, I can buy presents for people with October birthdays who have made the top 5 in the previous year. Once September is posted I can do November birthdays. The finally once October results are posted, I can do December birthdays and Christmas.

There may not be Christmas presents until February folks! Sorry about that! I may be running a bit late this year! :-)

Thanksgiving Family Pictures

No, not pictures from this Thanksgiving. We’re not that organized, and we’re delaying the whole Thanksgiving dinner thing since neither of us have been feeling well this last week. And it is hard to get everybody together into one picture since some of us live in cages.

But I figured it was a good time to put up a new bunch of pictures to show the expanded family since I put up the Pets and People page awhile ago.

So, being it is the whole Thanksgiving thing (well, it was yesterday, I missed the end of the day by a few minutes UTC) I figured I’d be thankful for the household here full of people and animals. We make a good bunch and I am glad we are together.

So, in the order they came into my life full time…

Sam:

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Nacho:

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Brandy:

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Amy:

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Nala:

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Zuri:

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Cheese and Skittles:

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Brandy’s Fish:

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Princely:

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Amy’s Fish:

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Mike:

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Thank you to all of you above for being a wonderful family here in Florida.

And thanks also to all of the rest of my family and friends who are scattered all over the country for putting up with me all these years. I know how difficult it is sometimes!

Kidney Stone O Rama

image Randy, in his great wisdom, asked me for a picture, so of course I shall provide. Here is a picture of the kidney stone I passed around 01:00 UTC on November 24th. It is pictured here at the bottom of a pill bottle the drug store gave us free when Brandy asked for one for me. That was nice of them. I’d say the stone is about two millimeters in diameter or so. Maybe 3. Dunno. But not any bigger than that. This is of course zoomed in a little, and is likely larger than life on your screens.

I was rushing to take the picture before I went to the Doctor yesterday for my followup, in case he wanted to keep it. So I didn’t have time to really worry about the lighting and background and such to take a really good picture. In the end though, I could have waited and taken my time. The Doctor said to keep it to give to the urologist as a follow up later. So I still have it. Um, if I can remember where I put it…

Place the States Quiz

Saw this Drag and Drop State Thing. (via TivoCommunity)

I got:

Score 98%
Average Error 1 Mile
Time 352 seconds

I messed up Tennessee. Right general location, just a few miles off E/W from where it should have been. (I had it slightly too far west.)

Anybody else want to try then report their scores?

(It randomizes the order of the states each time, and some orders are definately easier than others.)

Ooo… they have a bunch more!! The “expert geographer” ones for the various continents are really hard!

Backs, Emergency Rooms and Kidneys

Brandy’s back has been acting up for awhile. Over the past few weeks three times she had to spend two or three days in bed to try to get to the point where she felt like she could walk again.

The most recent time started Sunday evening after we got back from a little shopping. Boom. Brandy was in pain and horizontal. The bed was too soft, so it was the couch, or the floor at times. It was just getting worse and worse.

When I came home for lunch Tueday, as I usually do, she was in pretty bad shape, and we collectively decided that a trip to the emergency room was in order.

We headed to the emergency room, and I called out of work for the rest of the day. Brandy had to lie down in the chairs in the waiting room because she was unable to sit. Walking to and from the car and too and from checking in was very slow and painful for her. Once signed in, over 5 hours of waiting ensued. (At one point I went and picked Amy up from school).

A little after 6 PM Brandy was finally seen by someone. Not a doctor, but a physician’s assistant. He took a history. Ah, previous back injury from the military. There were no tests. He just ordered a shot and a few pills on the spot and gave out prescriptions for new pills. antinflamitories and pain killers. Stong pain killers.

Now, while we were waiting for Brandy to be given her pills, I started having pains in my lower abdomen. Familiar pains. Now, for the last several weeks I’d been off and on having that sort of symptom along with UTI type symptoms. I’d actually seen the doctor at a couple points. He had ordered some tests, then determined that at that particular day I wasn’t bad enough for antibiotics… but by then I’d caught a bad cold, so he gave me stuff for that, plus one of my test results had shown an abnormal liver result, so he ordered follow up tests, and I was supposed to see him next week about that. But meanwhile, the pains had been off and on. But never TOO bad. I was taking some analgesic stuff to help me not mind as much, and was basically waiting to see him next week.

But as we were sitting there waiting for Brandy to get her meds, my pain was getting worse and worse very rapidly, accompanied by a very urgent need to go to the restroom every 3 minutes. But without much of any ability to do anything once there. Yup, I knew this feeling. Kidney Stones.

By the time Brandy’s meds arrived… which included some percoset, I was joking that I wanted some too. But I wasn’t crippled in pain, it was bad, but not yet disabling. And besides, we were there for Brandy and Brandy was hurting a lot and still could not move without excruciating pain. So I ran back and forth to the restroom in between holding Brandy’s hand while she was on the stretcher.

They were completely overbooked and busy. All the rooms were full. After our five hours in the waiting room, we had finally been given an exam room in the ER, but then someone with chest pains was rushed in, and we were moved to a hallway. So we were out in a hallway for a long time.

Finally Brandy got her meds. It took almost an hour for them to kick in. But then she was quite loopy. Plus we had a couple prescriptions to take to the drug store. But we were finally leaving. Over 8 hours after first going in.

As we left, I joked about checking myself in. Aside from the fact that we would have been waiting another six hours most likely, it might have been a good idea. My pain was increasing very very quickly. By now Brandy was actually able to walk, although still with pain. I just wanted to rush home as fast as I could to take some of my own supply of percocet and then crash.

We needed to stop on the way home at the drug store though to fill Brandy’s prescriptions. I had forgotten about this and was hoping it would be mere minutes until we were home. Now it was likely to be half an hour.

And yes, sure enough (leving the yicky details out), there in the CVS restroom, in one of many trips I made in the time we were at the store, I passed a kidney stone. Not a huge one. Probably just a couple millimeters in diameter. But it hurt like hell. And I was sweaty and feaverish from the pain.

So we rush home. Brandy has her meds, and her pain killers are fully kicked in. I am in agony. I just passed a stone, but it was not improving yet. First of all the damn things do a lot of damage as they pass, and second, there may be more… I can barely concentrate to drive, but I am better off than Brandy who is now drugged to the hilt. By the time we get home Brandy is good enough to walk on her own, and I literally run in to drug myself with a couple percocets. (And to get back to a bathroom.)

So now, as I write, Brandy is still in pain and not as mobile as she should be, but is in a nice painkiller haze…. (And of course the painkillers don’t actually fix her back problem… that may not be fixable, it is a degenerate disease… but to feel normal again she’ll still have to be on bedrest the rest of the week probably.) My painkillers have still not fully kicked in. I feel better than I did an hour ago, but am still in a lot of pain. I hurt constantly and am trying to distract myself by writing, and I can’t spend more than about 3 minutes away from the bathroom at a stretch. And the percs are starting to make me dizzy and nauseous. Hopefully they will kick in before I upchuck, or we may be heading back to the ER.

Don’t we make a wonderful healthy couple?

We are both a complete mess tonight.

I really hope tomorrow is better for both of us.

Darkflash: Big Easy

Just a few more of these to go. Things that would have been blog posts had I had a blog at the time they happened. This one was sent to friends and family September 6, 2004 02:31:27 UTC.

So, we left Apalachicola and then within the hour on the radio we heard that the forecasts had changed, and they now definitely thought Frances would be a hurricane again when it hit the panhandle after strengthening in the gulf. And the predicted landfall location was… Apalachicola. Right on the nose. And the panhandle coast, including Apalachicola was announcing evacuations for coastal areas. Including where our motel was. Well, that was that. We’d apparently made the right decision.

Anyway, we main roads were not bad at all along our route, so we did the “fastest” route instead of a back road way. And we indeed made it all the way to New Orleans. We are now in a Motel 6 in New Orleans. (Brandy remembered that ALL Motel 6’s are “pet friendly” so we didn’t even have to search or ask.)

So, we’re in New Orleans. Which is out of the “cone” of possible movement for the center of Frances. Well away from the cone. We probably could have stopped earlier, but we felt like continuing. And neither of us had ever been to New Orleans. Don’t know how much sightseeing we’ll be able to do anyway. We’ll probably mostly be at the motel. But we shall see.

The local New Orleans news is saying that we shouldn’t even get any rain from Frances unless it shifts way further west than expected. So looks like we won’t see any of the fun weather. :-)

Currently we have booked two nights here. That should be enough for Frances to get out of the way. Then depending on what the news is saying about if people should return home we’ll either head home or stay here a little while longer.

And then as soon as we get there, we’ll probably have to leave again for Hurricane Ivan, which seems to be heading right at Florida too. Although perhaps Ivan will go visit Ivan in Miami instead of going to Melbourne like Frances. :-) [Although Ivan is far enough away still that it could pretty much go anywhere from Mexico to the Carolinas.]

Anyway, fun fun fun. The news shows a lot of damage in Melbourne / Palm Bay, but keeps saying it is much less there than a little further south, and it could have been much worse, and most of the damage is not catastrophic. Which is good. But we won’t really have any idea how things are until we get back, or we contact folks we know there who stayed to have them look at the house. We’ll see.

In the mean time, time to go eat, then I think Amy wants to use the pool here. This time we stopped and got suits for all of us. Then to bed. It has been another long day.

Ibengdo Athar Orwamro

My good friend Rebecca just announced to the world what the name of her and Chris’s baby would be. You can see the full post here. This is after Rebecca and Chris went through a lengthy process for deciding on a name. No, it isn’t Ibengdo, although that is what it would be in the same way that my name (Samuel) turns into Abulsme. Perhaps I will call him Ibengdo. But that is not it. See her post for the real name.

I’ll be honest, my first reaction was much the same as the one Rebecca got at her shower. Yes, I think the only thing that will save the youngster from getting beaten at school over his name is the fact that he will be six feet tall by the time he is seven years old. :-)

However, as I started to think about it, I remembered the many emails Rebecca had sent me talking about how “proper” children should behave. You know… Being quiet and well mannered at restaurants. Not running around and making noise at grocery stores. Not having to be told more than once to do something. Not talking back to their parents. You know, that sort of thing. And then, when I pictured in my head a kid that behaves that way all the time, yes, yes… I could see that name. It fits perfectly! :-)

In any case, I am looking forward to meeting the young man in a few months. Congrats Reb and Chris on the name choice. Sorry I couldn’t make either of the two baby showers. I sent something along, you should have it in a few days. Hope Ibengdo likes it!