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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February 2006
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Where I Am

imageThe building just north of the parking lot to the east of the tennis court. Southwestern corner. Click the image for the full interactive Google Map. It ain’t perfect, but it will do for six months. After that, we’ll find something else. Or we might wait a little bit longer than that. We shall see. Spend the time building up cash reserves and getting to know the area and such. But not too much longer than that. This is not a forever place. I hope. :-)

Here I Am

image

I am at the place I’ll be the next six months. Woo! And I have broadband again! Woo Woo!

And now, time to head back to work for the rest of the day.

Deprivation Leads to Depravation

In just a few minutes I’ll be leaving work and heading home. I have one more work related thing to finish (after I make this post of course) and then back… well, not home. To the corporate housing I’ve been in for the last 45 days. My check out is later today. I need to be out and have my keys returned and such by 19:00 UTC. 18 hours from now. Which means tonight I have to put all my stuff in my car except what I will need first thing in the morning. Then tomorrow I get up early, pack up the remaining stuff and go check out before coming to work.

Then in the afternoon I’ll leave work early and go actually sign the lease and move into the apartment which will be home for the next six months.

This new place will be completely empty. I will have a couple suitcases with some clothes in them and a computer. After my next triup to Florida I will bring back an air matress, and perhaps I’ll get a cheap desk and chair for the computer, but that will be it. I have no plans to get anything much more than that until everybody moves in June and some of my actual furniture comes.

Furniture be damned, what is the most notible missing item? That’s right… no TV. I ended up getting a 2 BR instead of a 1 BR since the last 3 months of the 6 month lease there will be 3 of us. As part of a compromise to balance off the additional cost, I will not be getting DirecTV, Cable, or even a cheap TV with rabbit ears. I will be going 3 months with no TV.

Here is what I figure… I don’t need it. I get news online most of the time. Look at all the “Sites I Check Daily” listed on the left of my home page. I can even get good streaming radio news if I don’t want to read it. If I don’t have a TV, I will most likely read more and spend more time catching up on things (email top ten anyone?) and learning new and productive things I can do with my computer. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

But then there is also reality. It’s not like I’ll need to go without any TV shows I really want to watch. Stupid behind the times notions from the MPAA and RIAA aside, I don’t need no durn TV. In places where there is a convieniant way that does things “by the book” I will use them. Netflix for movies (or old seasons of TV shows) to watch on the DVD player on my iMac is wonderful. iTunes Music Store to get the handful of shows worth paying for that they actually have for $2 each… fine. (Although the resolution sucks…) But for everything else I really think is worth watching… well, be there a “by the book” way or not… there be ways.

The TV industry as we know it is dead. They just don’t know it yet. They know they are in danger and are fighting like hell to buy off all the needed law makers to enforce old broken business models that have been obsoleted by technology through bad laws and intimidating lawsuits and by mandating that technology makers intentionally break their hardware to restrict what you can and can’t do with content… They may succeed short term… but long term… 10 or 15 years from now the way entertainment is delivered will be vastly different from how it is done today. Not saying it will all be free or that copyright will go away. But the “big media” of today will have to adapt drastically and accept the new methods of distribution… or they will be replaced by new content sources that do. They are beginning to understand now with music as the iTunes Music store gets the billionth download yesterday… tv and movies are next… magazines and newspapers have already started to make the shift. And eventually books will go too. It is just a matter of time until someone finally makes an ebook reader that doesn’t suck.

Oh well. In any case, even with such things, I’ll be watching a lot less TV than I have in many many years. And that probably is only a good thing. The challenge of course will be to do useful things with that time rather than just spend it all rocking back and forth on my air mattress in a fetal position while hitting refresh on stupid websites waiting for them to post new stuff. :-)

Yummy!

Nice map of my new home town:

Cancer risk from air pollution
(Seattle Times)

And the article:

Where the worst air is
(Warren Cornwall and Justin Mayo, Seattle Times)

The huge red cranes at the Port of Seattle aren’t even visible from here. But it’s what’s invisible that’s the problem. The air in this part of Seattle, some of it wafting from mammoth cargo ships idling at the port, is some of the unhealthiest in the state and the entire nation.

You can definately tell the difference day to day. Sometimes it is crystal clear and you can see the mountains and it is absolutely beautiful. Other days the haze is thick and you can’t see across the water. And yet more of the time, it is raining, so you can’t see anything anyway. :-)

Reorg #1

It only took 36 days… just about a week ago I had the first change in my command chain.

Jeff -> Kal -> Mark -> Llew -> Sam

became

Jeff -> Kal -> Scott -> Llew -> Sam

when Mark left the company to spend more time skiing.

Rumor has it this is just an interum step though, and there may be another change sooner rather than later. Thankfully though, none of this is anticipated to significantly change what we are doing. Just maybe put us somewhere where we fit better. Which is fine.

DVD: The Red Violin

imageOver the weekend I watched the next Netflix movie I had. The Red Violin. I really have absolutely no idea how this one got on my list. I certainly had no memory of it from when it was out or anything. It is the story of a violin as it moves from hand to hand over the centuries. And of course the stories of the various people who’s lives it touched.

It was an odd movie. At each juncture when the violin moved to a new owner, the movie changed languages. So of course I turned on the subtitles. I can’t imagine watching this without any subtitles. But I suppose if you knew all five languages you could do that. (I think it was Italian, German, French, English and Chinese… of which I know one.) Yes, this was not a movie intended for a mass audience that would get blockbuster crowds. :-)

It was good though. Slow paced but thoughtful. And very pretty both with the pictures and the music. Definately an art film sort of thing. Even with Samuel Jackson in it. But it kept me engaged and interested. I liked it.

Mall Chess

So a few hours ago I went out and drove by what will be my apartment in less than a week. They had cleaned up some stuff, but clearly were not done fixing up the place to be ready to move in. Nearby I found a place to get the money order I’d need to move in. (Easier than a cashier’s check given my bank’s closest branch is Indiana.) That taken care of, I went looking for food. Right across the street from the apartment complex is what looks like a little strip mall. It has a Barnes and Noble, a Circuit City, a Sports Authority and a bunch of other stuff. I discovered though that it also had a hidden indoor Mall type area. Mostly a food court (although a nifty one with non-chain type places and a wide variety of food). But some other stores. And… at one end between the food court, a grocery store and a board game store… was this:

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There was a whole area in the mall filled with people playing chess. With chess clocks and nice sets and all. (Not hundreds of games or anything, but there were probably around six games going.) The highlight was the giant chess set. Two people were playing and there was a croud of people on all sides watching. The giant board plus some of the other stuff was obviously set up as a semi-perminant feature. You do NOT see this in Palm Bay.

Maybe I’ll like this area after all. :-)

Which reminds me, a couple days ago, since I have a usable computer again, I decided to once again start playing chess, not just against people on ICC where my rating has fallen so low that it is hard to find opponants now, but against the computer again. I’m working my way up through the Chessmaster 9000 personalities starting at the lowest rated and working my way up. I’ll play one until I win, then move up to the next one. The first bunch should be easy. They are really really bad players. And then it will get harder. Hopefully this way I’ll actually improve again. I seem to be a much worse chess player now than I was a number of years back… and I was never very good.

I’ve been considering posting the games I play. But does…

[Date 2006.2.16]
[White Abulsme]
[Black Cassie]
[TimeControl 120+12]
[Result 1-0]

1.e4 g6 2.Nf3 Na6 3.Nc3 Nb8 4.Bd3 Bg7 5.O-O Bxc3 6.bxc3 f5 7.Bb2 Kf8 8.c4 b5 9.Bxh8 bxc4 10.Bxc4 c5 11.Ng5 d5 12.exd5 Ke8 13.Qe2 Nh6 14.Nxh7 Bb7 15.Nf6+ Kf8 16.Rfe1 a5 17.Nh7+ Ke8 18.d6 Be4 19.dxe7 Qd6 20.Nf6+ Kxe7 21.Nxe4 Ng4 22.Nxd6+ Kd7 23.Nb5 Ne3 24.Qxe3 Kc8 25.Qe8+ Kb7 26.Re6 g5 27.Qe7+ Nd7 28.Qxd7+ Kb8 29.Re8# 1-0

Mean anything or have any interest to anybody reading this?

Didn’t think so. :-)

30 kilovists!

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On 30 Apr 2005 at 00:33 UTC Matt sent me an email with the screenshot above saying he was the 30,000th visitor to my site and asking if he got a reward or prize or anything for it. Well Matt, here is your prize: You get mentioned on this post. (Took me awhile to get to that email, oops.)

As I post this Sitemeter is showing 58,435 vistors since July 13th 2003 when I first turned on Sitemeter. At the current rate that means about two weeks until it hits 60k. Who will it be this time?

(Of course, I must point out, sitemetere is flawed in several ways, most prominantly that I still haven’t put it on all the really old pages on the site. But that’s OK.)

Jeff Sighting

Nothing too significant, just wanted to mention that Monday at lunch just a few tables over from where my group was eating in the cafeteria was our CEO sitting and eating with three other people and laughing very distinctly occationally. Didn’t talk to him or anything. I just note that at my company two companies ago, you never saw such a thing. The C-team level folks (and several levels down from that for that matter) had their own special mahogany lined dining rooms and such and would pretty much never think of having lunch in the regular cafeteria… let alone wearing jeans. It is an interesting distinction.

Now, that other company is a 69 G$ company and this one is a 16 G$ company (market cap), but still…

My directly previous company did not have a cafeteria and has a market cap too small to sneeze at (or would have if it was public, which it is not), so the comparison does not apply.

First from Cronus

Suffice it to say that I got Cronus all set up last night (including 6+ hours just migrating all my stuff from Zeus with the automated migration assistant). I played with it quite a while. I am very pleased. I just wish one of the WiFi networks I can now see with enough strengh to be useful was not secured, but NO, they all had to put passwords on them, so I’m still on a 56k modem… Oh well. Ended up having less than 2 hours of sleep and oversleeping after spending many hours exploring the new machine. I am late for work now. So I will not write any more before running out the door. But I had to make the first post from the new computer…