This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



April 2006

New Deepest Relative

Just sent this to some of my relatives. Thought I would share here too. I’ve been having fun lately researching family trees and such. I have a nice big chart and spreadsheet with hundreds of ancestors listed, which I will probably eventally post. But here is my latest update (with some slight edits for clarity). I made a nice exciting find today!

From: Me
Subject: New Deepest Relative
Date: April 30, 2006 08:02:18 GMT
To: Grandmother, Father, Mother, Brandy, Cynthia

Spent some more time today doing genealogical internet searches using a bunch of the information Grandmother sent me in December as a starting point. Before today the deepest chain I’d found was on my Mother’s side (15 generations deep), but I found a deeper one today on the other side. There are still some paths I haven’t yet researched, but as of now, this is the farthest back I have gotten…

(0) Samuel Antonio Minter (1971-) of Wisconsin son of
(1) William Maynard Minter (1942-) of District of Columbia son of
(2) David Ramseur Minter (1912-1991) of Arizona son of
(3) William Ramseur Minter (1873-1943) of South Carolina son of
(4) John Russell Minter (1833-1913) of [South Carolina?] son of
(5) William Carter Minter (1797-1871) of South Carolina son of
(6) Jane Gillham (1773-1834) of South Carolina daughter of
(7) Thomas Newton Gillham Jr (1749-1828) of Virginia son of
(8) Margaret Gay Campbell (1725-1776) of Virginia daughter of
(9) William Campbell (????-1754) of Ireland son of
(10) John Campbell (1674-1741) of Ireland son of
(11) Duncan Campbell (1645-????) of Ireland son of
(12) Andrew Campbell (1609-????) of Ireland son of
(13) Hugh Campbell (1579-????) of Ireland son of
(14) Patrick Campbell (1544-????) of Ireland son of
(15) Duncan Campbell (1504-????) of Scotland son of
(16) Dugal Campbell (1474-????) of Scotland

Dugal lived in Inverary, Argyll, Scotland and was born in the “Ancestry Home of the Clan Campbell” according to one source I found.

Anyway, that’s the longest chain I’ve got so far. Although there are a bunch of other interesting chains too on both sides of the family. And I still have yet to Google many of the names on my chart.

Plus, I still haven’t even cracked the info that was sent to me by Mom today on the ancestors going back from my mother’s father’s mother (Mary Evelyn VanTilbergh). But it is late, so that will have to wait for another day…

Oh no…

I decided to look for five more minutes, and I found Dugal’s father… verified it because the same source shows Duncan as on of his kids, and Patrick as one of his kids, and Hugh as one of his kids… Some of the years are a bit off from the ones I had before (by just a few years) but four generations of names matching up would be a pretty big coincidence. Just checking more generations, they are still matching. Hugh has a son Andrew… who has a son Duncan… who has a son John… who has a son William… who is reported to have married Sarah Gay, who is who I have him marrying from my earlier research. Definitely the same Dugal Campbell.

And I am checking so hard to be sure because this listing has not only Dugal’s father, but fathers upon fathers going back another 600 years or so… It will take me many hours to incorporate this information….

This is a huge 2 Megabyte text file listing all the descendants of Duncan, Lord of Mormaer (born around the year 950). Myself, Cynthia, Dad and Grandmother are all apparently descended from this guy. This file gets me the direct line from us all the way Back to Duncan.

Duncan was the father of Crinan of Dunkeld, who has a Wikipedia entry…


Also of course Crinan of Dunkeld was married to the daughter of King Malcom II of Scotland (and the children of Crinan we are descended from are her children)… so she is in our line too, and I am pretty sure I’ll probably be able to go back even further in that line…

Yup, with just a few clicks on Wikipedia I can go back 150 more years to this guy:

Kenneth I of Scotland

Born around 800 AD, later to become the first King of Scotland… and a direct verifiable ancestor.

Filling out the years between 800 and 1474 AD in my spreadsheet I’m using to track all this will have to wait until at least tomorrow… it will take me many hours. And it is very late. Time for bed.

Hmmm… I’ll Blog this first…

Caprica Dawn

Do we need this? I like BSG. This may be OK. But Spinoffs are always spotty. Sometimes they work, sometimes they do not. We’ll see how Torchwood goes too. Lots of potentially interesting but potentially horrible spinoffs in the works!

‘Galactica’ Prequel on Tap at Sci Fi

The Sci Fi Channel will delve into the backstory of “Battlestar Galactica” with a new series that looks at the years leading up to humanity’s devastation by the Cylons.

The prequel, called “Caprica,” heads a list of development projects the cable network unveiled Wednesday.

“Caprica” will be set more than 50 years prior to the events of “Battlestar Galactica” and focus on the lives of two families — the Adamas (ancestors of future Galactica commander William) and the Graystones. Humankind’s Twelve Colonies are at peace and on the verge of a technological breakthrough: the first Cylon.

As “Battlestar Galactica” is about a lot more than space battles, “Caprica” will be as much family drama as sci-fi tale. Remi Aubuchon (“The Lyon’s Den,” “24”) is writing the pilot script; “Galactica” veterans Ronald D. Moore and David Eick will executive produce it.

(via TivoCommunity)

The Voices in my Head

Yet more new features to the Abulcam! Actually, the return of a feature that was on the original AbulCam many years ago, but went away at one point when the function wasn’t supported in the updated software I had. I bypassed the camera software and got it done seperately….

In any case, while viewing the AbulCam you can now, for the first time in many years, type a message, hit a button, and that message will be read out loud on my computer using Apple’s text to speech features. Unlike the AbulCam of many years ago, you actually get to pick the voice yourself rather than that being something I set on my end.

So anyway, visit the AbulCam and talk all you want.

Of course, if people get too obnoxious, I can always turn it back off.

MiniTakes 2

OK, I did it again. Noted some interesting URLs during work yesterday, got home tired and didn’t do anything useful at all, let alone make blog posts. So here are some more quick Links. I’ll limit myself to one sentence of comment on each. Or I’ll try anyway.

Nationwide Housing Prices Decline
(David Bernstein, The Volokh Conspiracy)

MiniTake: Yup, excellent timing, this sucks.

Fight Club Politics
(Juliet Eilperin, The Huffington Post)

MiniTake: This is where the moderates have gone. (Well, this is part of it.) The current division of everything into the crackpot left and the crakpot right, with no sane people in the middle left in positions of power is horribly detrimental. I recommend an automated redistricting algorithm based purely on population distribution and mathematics with a preference toward “simple” boundaries, but with absolutely no regard to pre-existing geographic, political or cultural divisions.

It’s Official, I Now Pity George Bush
(Trey Ellis, The Huffington Post)

MiniTake: Just the usual oedipal sort of look at the motivations of George Bush, but I found it humorous.

Clinton nearly ses rocket’s red glare
(Norm Clarke, Los Vegas Review-Journal via Drudge Report)

MiniTake: Just amusing… A porn star has a birthday party for her five year old daughter and is about to shoot off some fireworks as part of the party, and the secret service runs up telling her not to set off the fireworks, because Bill Clinton is just a few yards away.

A New Voice
(Canadian Music Creators Coalition via P2PNet via Digg)

MiniTake: Bunches of musicians coming out for file sharing and against the super strict copyright contingent. Good for them.

Treasue Coast Home Sales Drop
(Nadia Gergis, TCPalm)

MiniTake: Mostly about the Treasure Coast, which is not us, but does include a blurb saying that year over year “Home sales in the Melbourne-Palm Bay area decreased 23 percent, while the median price rose 7 percent to $222,500.” So price still up year over year, but market slowing greatly.

Da Vinci court papers ‘show secret code’
(ITV News)

MiniTake: The judge putting a secret message in his ruling. Very cool.

OK, that’s it for now. Maybe more tomorrow, maybe not. Maybe one at a time, maybe all together. Dunno.


Three links to news stories I noticed yesterday wanting to comment on, but then never had time. I figured I’d still pass along the links.

Pro-Taliban Speech Constitutionally Protected, Criticisms of Homosexuality Unprotected (Volokh)

My MiniTake: All forms of speech should be protected, regardless of how it may offend some people, including in many cases myself. This is speech in a public school, which is traditionally more regulated than just regular old speech, but I still think vast deference should be given to the right to be offensive. The desire lately to sanitize and protect people (including kids) from being offended is itself offensive.

(Sidetrack: Having said the above, I have not looked at the actual details of the court case and of course am not doing the lawyer thing, so I can’t say if I feel the judge acted correctly… as a very important general principle, it is very often that the correct decision in a court case is one that would result in an incorrect policy… but I would still believe the court decision is correct… one is about interpreting what the law is, the other is about determining what the law should be, and they are completely different questions.)

Coalition Sounds Off on Net Neutrality Legislation (SlashDot)

My MiniTake: Net Neutrality is a good thing. It is the right policy. However, government has no business regulating this one way or the other. The market should decide. If the major telcos decide to introduce tiered service, it would be a bad thing for the public in my opinion. But they own the wires, and they should have that right. Hopefully if they try they will fail, or other companies will provide alternatives. But it is their stuff and they should be able to do whatever the hell they want to with it, even if it isn’t the “best thing” as determined by some measure of public good.

The Bill the Hollywood cartels don’t want you to see (IPac)

My MiniTake: Intellectual propery rights need to be rolled back, not strengthened. The idea of IP, both copyright and patent, was to incentivise creators to create more than they would otherwise by providing LIMITED protection of their work from being exploited by others commercially for some period of time. Over the last 50 years this has been extended and expanded over and over again. At this point a very strong argument can be made that these laws and regulations are no longer serving their purpose of encoraging creativity and invention, but instead are outright stifling those tendancies by wrapping everything in rules and lock boxes. This law would be a huge mistake, and a huge further curtailment of individual rights with no balancing benefit other than helping to prop up the failed business model of the entertainment cartels. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if this passed with bipartisan almost unanimous support. That seems to be the trend.

Hmmm, I guess I ended up saying most of what I wanted to say anyway.

Sad Listing

A few seconds ago I emailed our agent all the forms needed to officially list our house in Florida and put it on the market. Doing so makes me sad.

I am not unhappy to be here at this job. It is so much better than the last one that there is no comparison at all. I am not even unhappy to be out of Florida. It isn’t a bad place by any means (although Brandy may differ) but I am not attached to the state or even the town. But I am very sad to leave the HOUSE. It felt like home, and it was something I was proud of and enjoyed. It had enough space for the three of us to spread out and still feel comfortable. And I love the lanai and the pool, although we didn’t get to use it enough cause by the time the screen was up, I was practically on my way here. I loved the layout and the tile floors. I just liked how it all fit together. It just felt like a home. It felt like a place I could be in for many many years. It felt like a place that could be a place to settle down, not just a place to be for a little while. But it was just not to be.

And here, we’re going to be in a dinky little apartment for the short term, in a slightly better and larger apartment for the medium term, and then who knows how long it will be before we buy again, and even then it is most likely going to be smaller and not quite as nice. (Unless something unexpected happens, which could always happen, you never know…) Not saying we won’t be able to get something that is OK and nice in its own way, but it will not match the place in Florida. The economic realities of real estate in the two places are just that way.

I may or may not even be able to go back to visit it one last time. That is up in the air. I may have seen it for the last time and not even known it at the time. Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually do like the Seattle area a lot. In many ways I like it more than I liked Florida. And I like the job. And there is absolutely no question that this was the right choice and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, not just by a little bit, but by a lot. Overall, when all things are considered, in all other aspects of life other than abode, we will be so very much better off here than there…

But that doesn’t keep me from being very sad and mourning the loss of my house.

(And yes, I felt the same way about the house in Pennsylvania… I loved that house and still miss it too, although I think I feel this one more strongly.)

The market has slowed to a crawl in Florida though. It may take us longer than we would like to sell it, and we won’t make as much as we had once hoped. We would have put it on the market a couple months ago, but there was some work on the house that HAD to be done first, and it wasn’t like we were vacating before June anyway.

We’ll see how it goes, hopeully it will sell in one or two months, not five or six months. But you never know. The days of selling in a few days are long gone though. And until the day it sells, we’re still paying the mortgage, even if we are not there, and that paying for double housing thing makes everything very tight.

Oh well, one way or another it will work out.

And in the end, this is a better place for us than Florida ever was.

Reorg #2

Got the official announcement Friday that another reorg is on the way. (It was rumored to be coming ever since the last one, so this is not a surprise.) This will take effect a week from today. This time the reorg will be accompanied by a physical move. Same building, different floor. Moving from the 5th floor to the 1st floor. And I was just told I’ll get a ceiling!

Anyway, assuming happens as scheduled, this will make my org history at this job:

Jeff -> Kal -> Mark -> Llew -> Sam (36 days)
Jeff -> Kal -> Scott -> Llew -> Sam (74 days)
Jeff -> Kal -> Colin -> Llew -> Sam (Starting 1 May 2006)

Running average, 55 days per chain of command. From what I hear though, the last one was always going to be temporary, while this one should be longer term. We shall see…

As for direct effect on me… short term shouldn’t be any as my direct manager has not changed. Long term it should bring better synergies with some other groups we work with which will end up closer on the org chart to us than they used to be.

AbulCam Timelapse

I was messing around with some other things and had to slightly adjust what I was doing with the AbulCam to let me do it. In the process, I ended up doing something I’d thought about for awhile but never gotten around to. Timelaspe from the AbulCam! So now, when you go to the AbulCam as well as seeing live streaming of the Camera when it is on, you will also always be able to see a timelapse movie of the previous day. Enjoy!

As always, where the camera is pointing will change over time and by my whims. At the moment it is pointed out the window. Sometimes it will be pointed at me. Sometimes at other things. Brandy has respectfully requested that I make sure to have it either off or pointed somewhere else when I am not fully dressed. I will be honoring that request. I am sure that everyone reading this is very glad of that.

In any case, enjoy the timelapse!

Empty Lot

Friday I got to work at 15:15 UTC. I was the first one in the lower lot. Wow!

Give Yoga


Got a call earlier today from Sue Schwer, who had been my boss at the financial company which shall not be named from about 1998 to 2000 or so. Turns out that in addition to her turn to the real estate world, more recently she has opened an online store selling Yoga supplies. It is linked above. I don’t do the yoga thing myself (although Rebecca has told me in the past that perhaps I should) so I can’t make any sort of educated comment on the inventory.

But it sounds like Sue has a good start on her new venture, and I wish her well!

And it is good to catch up with the folks from back then every once in awhile. I guess it was only six years ago, but it seems like many lifetimes ago already.