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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It Shipped

Amy hasn’t chosen a name for it, but her iMac was picked up by FedEx in Shanghai at 8:05 UTC today and is now on the way. Woo!

Skittles Status

Thank you to the several of you who have written to express condolences on Cheese. Several of you also asked about Skittles. The results of the blood work on Skittles show that Skittles has a lot of enzyme levels out of balance… similar to what they found on Cheese, but nowhere near as severe. So Skittles is also unwell… although not in imminent danger.

They do not as of yet understand why. They are having us make some dietary changes and watch him very carefully for the next 30 days or so, after which they will do more tests. We’re also instructed to most definitely not even consider introducing a new bird until they figure out what is wrong and if it is contagious.

So we shall see.

New Best GPS

Well, at least for portable detachable car use.

Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770
(GPS Lodge)

The Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770 was announced today for the start of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. The new line features the sleek design look of the Nuvi 200 series, and a full feature set that will set it at the top of the Garmin line. The units will offer you the ability to get some help, including how to get to police, hospitals and to the nearest gas station. This is now becoming a standard feature in the GPS world, which I think will be welcome features for most users. The other way the units can help you are to find your car: Tap the screen and take your GPS with you (to avoid it from being stolen) and then the unit can help you get back to your car when your “Pedestrian Mode” walking or shopping is over.

I of course want the 770. But that is definitely not on the 2007 budget. Maybe the venerable Nuvi 350 if I get lucky. Realistically though, no GPS this year. It is just way too low on the rational priority list. Near the top of the irrational gadget lust list, but pretty low on real life priority. So it will wait.

Just Resting

NAACP Dem Debate, Anybody Got?

I’m trying to catch up on my viewing of the presidential debates. So far I’ve watched:

  • 26 Apr 2007 – Dem debate at South Carolina State University
  • 3 May 2007 – Rep debate at the Reagan Library
  • 15 May 2007 – Rep debate at the University of South Carolina
  • 3 Jun 2007 – Dem debate at St. Anselm College
  • 5 Jun 2007 – Rep debate at St. Anselm College
  • 28 Jun 2007 – Dem debate at Howard University

The next one in order would be the 12 Jul 2007 Dem debate at the NAACP convention but my Tivo missed it and I can’t find it anywhere online…

Oh, wait… never mind.

It is too late today. But maybe I’ll watch this tomorrow. I gotta catch up on these things! To catch up to real time, I’ve got to watch 7 more of these! There have been quite a lot this year!

Wicked Resizing

I’m a little slow on this one, but take a look at the image resizing method highlighted in the article below. It is very cool.

Adobe Hires Co-Inventor of Image Resizer Technology
(Michael Arrington, TechCrunch)

The day before yesterday I showed the above video (it has now been viewed nearly 100,000 times), which shows some jaw dropping examples of next generation image manipulation, and said “I want this in PhotoShop immediately.” Well, that may be happening sooner rather than later. Co-inventor Shai Avidan has now joined Adobe and will work out of their Newtown, MA office. More info on Shai is here.

Basically it works by finding parts of the picture where not much is going on and eliminating them first when you resize rather than just scaling the image. So for instance, if you have a picture with two people on opposite sides of a street and make the picture narrower, the street will get narrower and the people will get closer together before it starts doing anything to the people.

Very cool. Check out the video.

Goodbye Cheese

As those of you who downloaded and listened to the podcast already know, our budgie Cheese was not in good shape over the weekend. He got sick late last week, but too late for us to get him to an avian vet on Friday, and none were open on the weekend. We got some treatment from a regular vet when he looked worse on Sunday, but they really didn’t have any bird expertise and couldn’t do anything of substance. We got him to an avian specialist Monday morning and they essentially put him in the bird equivalent of intensive care as they tried to figure out what was wrong. But basically with most birds, by the time they show any outward symptoms at all, they are in pretty bad shape. They hide the fact that they are sick at all costs, because in the wild, showing that weakness can be an immediate death sentence.

Cheese had shown some improvement Monday afternoon, but we got word this morning that he hadn’t made it through the night. As of this morning, the vet had not been able to determine what exactly had been wrong and it was somewhat of a mystery. I gather they are continuing post-mortem tests, but in the end the reason won’t really matter. (Although we are having Cheese’s companion Skittles checked out just in case it was something that could effect both.)

Cheese is the yellow and green bird in the picture above. I actually was unable to find ANY pictures of either Cheese or Skittles where they were not together. When we initially got them, the intention was to only get one bird as a companion for Nacho, whose cage mate Brain had recently died. (Thus the name Cheese… Nacho and Cheese… get it?) But even in the big aviary with 100 budgies at the petstore, the two of them would not leave each other alone and were inseparable. So we had to get them both. Seperating them was out of the question.

They would sit next to each other on the perch. They would huddle together when they slept. They would play together. The only exception was when we for a time had our old grandmother budgie Nacho in the cage with them. Cheese would sometimes snub Skittles to stay with Nacho. She was the matron of the family after all, and appreciated the attention.

Cheese didn’t really like us humans that much. But we liked him and he will be missed.

Especially by Skittles. They have never been apart, and now he has an empty cage.

I had sworn that we would not get any more birds. But we may have to rethink that. Budgies are flock animals and being by themselves isn’t good for them. We’ll figure all that out. But for now…

Goodbye Cheese. You were a good bird.

Margaret Weer

Time for #27 in my ahnentafel. This is of course my mother’s father’s mother’s mother Margaret Weer. Born in 1851, died in 1924. Lived in Ohio all her life. Married Thomas B VanTilburgh and then had 13 children, the 5th of which was my great-grandmother Mary Evelyn VanTilburgh.

I mentioned when I blogged about her husband a couple of weeks ago that the two of them started a tradition of VanTilburgh Family Reunions that have gone on annually for almost a century. I think that is great, if only for the tradition of it.

Aside from the above, I don’t know all that much about Margaret Weer. For awhile it even looked like she would be the first ancestor I got to in breadth first ahnentafel order for whom I could not find parents’ names. I eventually got those names only because a random distant cousin of mine found my wiki pages on my ancestors while googling her own ancestors and was able to provide that additional information. I get those kind of emails about every other month now from newly found distant cousins. Which is great.

In any case, that is all I know about Margaret.

Poor Kermit

I have nothing really to add to news about the Attorney General resigning, especially since it is now many hours after when it was announced. It is about time of course.

I just wanted to mention that of all the headlines I have seen about this today, this one was by far the best:

Gonzo Departs; Muppets Very Sad

That from The Corner.

It made me laugh.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Just Seven Things

This week Sam talks about:

  • Sick Cheese
  • Monday Show and OCD
  • Parental Controls Again
  • Shaking Brakes
  • Lots of Ad Money
  • Moving the Primaries
  • Censoring Opus

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