This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.



June 2006

Happy Dog Day

Today here at work it is Happy Dog Day… or somthing like that… They have a playground for the dogs with tubes and seesaws and thing to jump over. They have a schoolbus full of dog toys. They have a couple guys in dog suits. And of course dozens of employee’s dogs.


I just suddenly realized that today is Thursday, not Friday, and that just pissed me off. I am ready for it to be Friday. Damn it.

Also, even though I slept from about 3 UTC to about 7 UTC, that’s only four hours, and I should try to sleep again. It is almost 11 UTC, and my alarm will start going off at 13 UTC. I have a 16:30 UTC meeting today, but it is in a different building than my usual building, so I’ll have to get to work early to catch the shuttle over there and such. So If I’m going to try to squeeze in another couple of hours of sleep, I need to do it now.

But I’m in one of those “I feel tired and I would like to lie down, but doubt I’ll be able to sleep” modes. Contrast to 3 UTC, which was way early for me to be going to sleep, where I sat down on the floor and then woke up 4 hours later. I was just instantly out.

Oh well. I’ll try. If I can’t manage to get back to sleep by the time the alarm goes off, guess I’ll just stay up…

Kathy’s Site

Well, not a personal site, so not actually hers, but my friend Kathy recently (well, OK, almost a month ago) emailed that the site she’d been working on for work was finally up:

Yippee!! The women’s health website I’ve been working on for SIX years is finally launched!! Be sure to check it often, as we create wellness spotlights for consumers throughout the year and update publications for health professionals at least monthly. Browse the site and be sure to check out “Office of Women’s Health Materials” currently under “In the Spotlight” (also under “Spotlights and Observances” and “Publications and Materials” in the left navigation bar) for some of our consumer-friendly wellness spotlights and “Topics A-Z” in our left navigation bar for consumer and health professional resources by health topic.

You can see it spotlighted at the top of the CDC homepage this week at or go directly to it anytime at Enjoy!

P.S. We have a men’s health website that I manage, too-

So, drop by and check it out.

Podcasts and Vlogs and even Front Row

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a long time, but I generally would always think of it once I was in bed for the night, not at the computer, so I never did. But today having fallen asleep really early, then woken up in the middle of the night, I figured I’d give it a shot.

People who read my blog know that I’ve been without a television since around the end of February. I’ve got tons of TVs in Florida and it just didn’t seem to be worth it to get a new one here, or to double up paying for cable or whatnot. Slingbox was considered, but there were a few obstacles, so it never happened.

In any case, thanks to the internet I’ve yet to miss a TV show I really wanted to watch. And more and more of it is actually available legally as television producers and distributers finally start to “get it”. They still don’t get it completely, cause they often offer lower quality versions with less flexibility than you can get by “other means” but the moves are in the right direction.

But that only gets the fix for “show” type content. It is great for watching Doctor Who, CSI, Lost… whatever. But there is a niche that doesn’t cover, which is the more timely stuff. For instance, I tried using the same methods as with the other things for something like The Daily Show. Very possible. It is all there. But I don’t do it. Why? Cause for that kind of thing I want the convienience of being able to do it directly by subscribing to a podcast in iTunes.

(I know, there are RSS/Torrent combinations that can do this, but they still have more friction.)

I’ve subscribed to about a dozen such shows that I listen to or watch regularly. For the stuff that is timely and are available this way, I’d never consider using “other means”. Just like when iTunes opened for music. Before then, I downloaded lots of music through “other means”. From the day iTunes Music Store opened, I can’t say I’ve downloaded one single thing through other means… unless it wasn’t available at iTunes. Right now TV on iTunes is lower quality than I’ll pay for… I watch on my monitor, not on an iPod… but they are now offering “subscriptions” to shows… still a little pricy, but getting there. Once they straighten the kinks on that, increase the quality, etc… I’ll be all over that. (And maybe once I buy a video iPod. :-)

Um, I’ve got distracted from what I originally wanted to talk about though. There are about 12 audio podcasts I now listen to regularly, and two video podcasts I watch regularly. A couple interesting things with that. First of all, while there are a couple “indy” ones, like TWiT and RocketBoom… most of what I listen to is actually from more “traditional media” type sources. Almost every night I watch the ABC News World News Now video podcast. I listen to stuff from NPR and the BBC almost every night. Each weekend I listen to NBC’s Meet the Press and ABC’s This Week. Could I watch all these things independantly by going to the various websites? Yup. But I never would.

I listen to some BBC stuff directly from their website, but it pisses me off every time. I want to access that stuff as a podcast. (At least the non-live stuff… live stuff is a different beast.)

The other thing that has suprised me is Front Row on the Mac. I thought I would NEVER use this thing, but I use it ALL THE TIME. Now, when I’m awake and sitting at the computer working, I’ll just fire up iTunes or whatnot, but in the evening, when I’m tired of sitting at the computer, and I want to lie down and put something on to fall asleep to, out comes the remote control and Front Row. I love that thing. Never really use it for music, but I use it to pick which podcasts I am going to listen to and such when I’m NOT actually using the computer for something else. Never thought I’d touch the thing. Now I use it most evenings.

I could definately see a day when all my TV shows are automatically downloaded and watched like this. Then it becomes very much like a Tivo, but getting rid of the middleman of the cable or satellite company… or eventually even the networks and such. And also eliminating the bottleneck of worring about conflicts and such. You just download the things you want anytime after they are made available. What time it is released becomes the start of when you can download it, not the only time you can record it.

Ah, good times. :-)