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.



March 2007

I Remember Chacchoben

Just posted this update on the page for the next random trip:

Chances of 2007 for this random trip seem to be slipping, although perhaps late in the year might happen. But other things such as Amy’s tuition take priority. So, who knows when it will happen. But it will happen! I know I keep saying that, but it will.

In any case, a couple new relevant links:

  • Wikipedia Chacchoben Page
  • Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Site
  • Lewis Napoleon Rayburn

    It is ancestor time! As we move through the tree in breadth first order, it is now the turn of my father’s mother’s mother’s father. I actually know more about Lewis Napoleon Rayburn than many of my other ancestors of this generation, mainly due to some remembrances written by Charles C Rayburn, one of my grandmother’s cousins.

    He was born in 1860 in Rowan County, Kentucky. He served as Sheriff and Justice of the Peace in Lewis Co, Kentucky. He served two terms in the Kentucky State Senate. He was a farmer and a merchant. And then his grandson’s Charles’s notes about him:

    Grandpa Rayburn —

    He was in his early seventies when I was old enough to walk the one-fourth mile to his house. He was postmaster, which function occupied one corner of this small country store. By this time the store was out of business but the tobacco plug shear, candy jars and thread drawers remained on the counter top as reminders of the old store.

    I sat on the counter top beside Grandpa as he unlocked and opened the US mail saddle bag. The mail came via mule back since the mail route was not negotiable by wheeled vehicles.

    Grandpa would tell stories as I listened by the hour. Stories about his experiences as a school teacher; or his days as a traveling salesman for a general store distributer; or his political career as a state senator.

    He stole Grandma away from her parents by night and rode thirty miles both on one horse that night and crossed the Ohio river to get married. He remembered Civil War soldiers coming through their yard and asking for water.

    He unraveled many stories of his brother, my Great Uncle Jim. Uncle Jim killed his father-in-law who had planted a shot gun in a fodder shock to kill Uncle Jim as if by accident. I remember when Uncle Jim was shot in the hip by a robber. Grandpa loaded his pistol and took off to kill this robber. The robber was much younger and escaped into the hills. Fortunately Grandpa did not find him.

    Grandpa was excellent with numbers. He also wrote well but had no need for periods or commas.

    He was notary public which made him legal expert for the neighborhood. He understood the law regarding land transfers, wills, law suits and any official papers which came through the mail. Most of the residents of our community were functionally illiterate so Grandpa’s services were especially needed. Also he provided his legal expertise at no charge.

    His law office was a bench seat supported on each end by hickory trees beside the dirt road. He would counsel with his clients while I was privileged to listen in. The two of us sat there talking and whittling.

    The second law office was his winter quarters by the fire place where he spent hours reading the paper and explaining the news to me along with his independent judgement on the various subjects. I watched as he chewed tobacco and smoked his pipe. Of course I had to do the same but not in his presence.

    He and Mom had great respect and admiration for the other.

    After I went away to school then into the military we kept in touch by mail. I wanted to be just like Grandpa.

    He married in 1882. My ancestor was the third of eight children. He died in 1947. And that is about all I know. As usual, click through on the link above for the additional details I do have, my sources, etc.

    DVD: The Man With Two Brains

    Brandy picked the last DVD we watched and it was The Man With Two Brains. She was very excited to have me see it, as she thought I would love it. I told her before hand that I have never really been too fond of Steve Martin’s humor, but that was OK, I’d watch with an open mind. I had not see this movie before as far as I knew. I kind of actually had it confused with All of Me, another Steve Martin movie. It wasn’t that movie though. BUt I haven’t actually seen either of them, so it didn’t really matter.

    And well… it was OK. But I didn’t laugh all that much. Like I said, I’m just not that into Steve Martin’s style of humor. I mean, it wasn’t a bad movie or anything. I wasn’t anxious to have it over, it just didn’t really do anything for me. Brandy was very disappointed that I didn’t like it all that much.

    Meanwhile, she fell asleep two thirds of the way through.

    Oops. :-)

    MultiHeaded Mac

    I just discovered by accident that when you are operating your Mac via VNC, and someone sits down at the console and Fast User Switches to their account… your VNC account still controls your original desktop. So, minus VNC latency (which isn’t too horrible if you are on a LAN) you can have multiple people running full screen Aqua Mac goodness, one on console, and the rest essentially on dumb terminals, but with their full desktops and access to everything. Right now I am sitting in the livingroom on a laptop VNC’d to my Mac while Amy is actually sitting in front of it… apperantly doing some sort of Algebra related game.

    Very nice. A good discovery.

    October 2004 Top Ten!

    It has been so long since I posted one of these, that new readers (those few I have) may have no idea what this is. Starting around when I left Pittsburgh to head to Washington, DC to try to find a real post-college career rather than the random stuff I was doing in Pittsburgh for a little while after graduation, I started compiling and sending out an “email top ten list” each month based on which of my friends had sent me the most personal email the previous month.

    Basically, the main purpose was as a mechanism for me to keep in touch with people. If people fell off the “top ten” and stayed off for a few months, I’d notice that and email them. But in the mean time, the “contest” took on a life of its own, even though there were no prizes. People would actively try to win in some months. When several people were trying in the same month, this could sometimes be a little annoying… people would do things like sending me 5000 separate emails each with a single word in it and such. (By the way, emails I suspect as automated have always been disqualified, so these would have to be manually done emails or at least be good enough automation to fool me.) But it was still fun. And it did result in lots of email, and with keeping in touch with people. And sometimes even to make new friendships when people would discover the contest and start sending email.

    All the previous results can be found here and a retrospective of the first 100 months of the contest can be found here.

    Then in October 2004 there was a meltdown on my email server, and I lost several weeks of email. Which through me into a real tizzy, cause first of all, I lost email and I’d kept in one form or another every email I’d ever sent or received since 1993, but second because it made putting together the count for both September and October of 2004 very difficult.

    Anyway… for a variety of reasons, doing the reconstruction got put pretty far back on the stove, and literally I’d only do a few minutes of work on it each month. So there has been a 28 month delay in putting out the October 2004 results. Oops.

    But they are finally here! Click through below for the details and the winners:

    October 2004

    But after the disastrous email meltdown of October 2004, which caused missing data in both September and October of 2004, I was so disheartened. I tried my best with the September info, but I was still late. After that, after being late for the first time in the history of the email top ten, it just seemed to be of little point. Once it was broken, it was broken. So I continued to work on the reconstruction of the October 2004 email results, but rather than just spending the hours straight through to get it done, I did a few minutes worth each month. Sometimes an hour’s worth on a good month. But I let other things take priority. I should have made this an absolute priority from the beginning. If I had done that, this quite possibly would have been complete shortly after the September results, but I did not. There were a lot of other things going on these past two years. But with a little bit done each month… and a bump in priority in February 2007 so I did a bit each day instead of a bit each month… we are finally at the end of that road. The October 2004 Top Ten is done!!

    Over the next few months I’ll slowly be calculating results from November 2004 to the present and then resume the normal schedule for these things. Since these will just be normal counts of existing mailboxes with no issues, these should go pretty fast. I’ll still space them out some rather than do them all at once. My only goal in terms of that is to release them at a rate faster than one a month so I eventually catch up. Hopefully in less than another 2+ years.