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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Feeling Today

Oh, for anybody who was wondering, yesterday I did actually go to work, although a slightly shorter day than normal. I was still uncomfortable, but no longer in pain. Managed to get through what I needed to do.

In the evening, still uncomfortable. Headed to bed early. Slept a bunch. But MUCH better than the previous day.

This morning… about the same. I think I passed something though. Which is good.

In any case, still not happy, but much better than the time right before I posted on Wednesday.

Just continuing the TMI. Greg can thank me that once again I am not posting relevant pictures.

Probably the Stones Again

Sunday night a lot of people were running their fireplaces, so my allergies were pretty bad and I got almost no sleep. I dragged myself into work anyway. The breathing stuff was pretty much better by noontime, but very soon after that a familiar discomfort started building in my abdomen. There is no way to tell for sure just on the symptoms… but the symptoms matched almost exactly what I have felt every time over the past few years when I have been about to pass a kidney stone.

As the afternoon progressed Monday I was increasingly uncomfortable. I thought about leaving early a few times, but ended up putting in a whole day, although I must admit, as the discomfort increased, my productivity declined proportionately. In the evening at home, my discomfort stayed pretty constant for the rest of the night.

Tuesday morning I did a conference call from home first, then headed in to work thinking things weren’t that bad. But during the drive to work it got worse and worse, and I knew as soon as I got there that I would need to turn around and go home. After a couple of quick meetings, I headed home. I managed to do some amount of work from home as long as I stayed in very close proximity to a bathroom at all times.

At about 0 UTC today though, the discomfort spiked into pain… something I had been pretty much been expecting since the initial discomfort on Monday, but had been hoping would not happen. I took a Percocet clone I have around for exactly this reason, and almost immediately I started feeling better, and I did one last conference call with work that lasted about an hour. I had expected that the pill would knock me out and I would sleep the rest of the night. Instead, by the time I got off the call I was feeling no pain at all and was hyperactive. I ended up going downstairs and swaping out a bad head unit on our entertainment system and generally rearranging the room and such.

That lasted until about 5 UTC, then I started feeling uncomfortable again, but I fell asleep. I woke up around 8 UTC. The discomfort slowly started morphing back into pain. About 8:45 UTC it was bad enough that I took another pill. But it just kept getting worse. 20 minutes later, I was about to wake up Brandy to consider the possibility of heading to the ER if the pain meds didn’t kick in soon. At this point it was pretty bad. I was in the curled up in a ball on the floor swearing at the world phase.

I was just starting to feel like the pain killers might have been slightly working when all of a sudden I wasn’t able to keep the pill down. This worried me a lot, because I’ve only ever had to go to the ER for stones twice… once was the very first time, when I had no idea what was going on, and no pain killers to help deal with it… the second was when I couldn’t keep the pain killers down and had to go in so I could get pain killers in a shot instead of in a pill.

At this point Brandy had woken up. I ended up waiting about 10 minutes, then taking another pill, hoping this time I could keep it down. Between whatever part of the first pill had actually stayed in my stomach and the second pill, 20 minutes later I was no longer doing the writhing and swearing thing.

Now, as I write this, it is still pain, not down to just discomfort levels, and I’m not quite at the point where I can sleep. But I think (hope) it might be getting close. I suppose a third pain pill might be possible, but I’m not sure it would be wise. I prefer to take as few of these as possible. (And my supply isn’t all that large anyway.)

This really sucks. I hope this one passes quickly. The last set of tests I had (over the summer) showed all the stones that were sitting in my kidneys ready to drop were still of the size where the indication was take pain killers and pass them rather than lithotripsy or surgery. But the biggest one was getting close to the limit. (I believe they said it was 8mm in diameter… which seems pretty freakin huge to me and would be about double the biggest one I’ve passed previously, but they hoped it would break up into smaller ones on its own.)

So I imagine if this thing doesn’t pass on its own soon… and/or the pain killers stop being enough for me to get by… that a trip to the doctor and/or emergency room may be in my future.

Of course, all this is assuming that because all the symptoms match the other times this has happened to me (which started out being once every couple of years, but is now a couple of times per year) that this is indeed another kidney stone. If it is something else… well, who knows.

As for work tomorrow… I’m gunna try. We have a going away lunch for one of my employees who is leaving for a start up, and it would suck to miss that. Plus a couple of other meetings going on. But if I’m feeling like I do right now, even hopped up on Percocet, I’m thinking that might be unlikely. But I guess we’ll see how I feel in the morning… well, in about 4 or 5 hours when I should be waking up.

No idea at this point if I’ll actually sleep between now and then.

Well, there ya all go. TMI in the extreme I am sure. But at least this time I didn’t post any pictures… yet. :-)

DVD: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

This last weekend was Amy’s turn to pick the movie. Brandy declined to join us, but Amy and I watched the Wallace and Gromit movie.

I’d always generally liked the claymation thing. Hadn’t really watched much Wallace and Gromit though. But I was very quickly laughing. It was enjoyable light hearted humor. I particularly liked the rabbits floating in the suction tank thing and such. BUt Amy and I both laughed quite a bit at various points in the movie. It was a good choice by Amy. It was worth the watching.

I’m not much on rewatching things I’ve seen before, so I probably wouldn’t watch it again. But if a new W&G movie came out, I’d definitely watch it. It was fun.

Frontline on Cheney

Just got to the Frontline episode from last Tuesday on my Tivo. As usual for Frontline, it was very well done. Basically a summary of Cheney’s efforts over the years to strengthen Presidential authority and reduce or eliminate the ability of congress and the courts to restrict that power. There wasn’t much here that I didn’t already know, but it put it all together in a very compelling package.

I listen to some of the things said by Cheney and the various people surrounding him, and I am just dumbfounded. It is so 100% contrary to what seem like basic values like the rule of law, constitutional government, checks and balances, human rights, etc… These are very scary people with very scary ideas about what good government looks like.

I fear though that much of the damage they have done will not be undone, even after a change of administration in 2009. Even if that administration is of a different party. While Rudy would probably even try to one up what Bush and Cheney have done, I don’t frankly see Hillary flat out rejecting the powers claimed by this administration. No, she will just use them in different ways, not necessarily better ways.

Sigh.

In any case, it is well worth watching. The whole thing is available to watch on the Frontline website for Cheney’s Law if for some reason you forgot to Tivo it.

Mother’s Tornado

My mom had quite a close call with a tornado last Thursday. I just got my mom’s permission to post the emails she sent on Friday describing it.

tornado hit
(Ruth Brandon, 2007 Oct 19 02:48:47 UTC)

I write from Owensboro, Ky (a five hour drive west of Cincinnati this morning) where Steve Hecky, UCC pastor in Newport, KY, and I are attending the Kentucky Council of Churches. It has been quite a day. Owensboro has been hit all afternoon and evening by huge thunderstorms with flooding and tornados and high winds. Third Baptist Church where we were meeting twice had us to evacuate to the basement and this evening within five minutes of us reaching the basement the church was apparently slightly hit – We all felt the change in air pressure in our ears, heard the “sound of a freight train” overhead, power went out and we sang hymns until we were allowed upstairs. Cell phones and computers lighted the way!

We had sat in the sanctuary too long as the tornado warning sirens wailed – the preacher (president of the National Council of Churches in the USA) had just begun – but finally he was interrupted and everybody made it okay. Apparently a wall in the balcony of the sanctuary where we were worshipping was caved in – when we emerged the smell and cloud of cement dust was noticeable – they herded us outside where firefighters were coming in and it was pouring rain. One car was upside down and at least one other shoved out of location and damaged and debris was in the parking lot. My car – 25 or so feet from the upside down one – and most of the cars – were okay. We saw bricks in the street as we left that seemed to come from Zion UCC next door – will have to check Friday morning when there is light. Steve thought it was from Zion’s tower or steeple. We drove through miles of dark streets to our rooms at the Hampton Inn which was barely into the zone further south where there is still power – Power is out less than a quarter mile north but here all is well.

This evening when we headed toward the church from a restaurant, we drove through major flooding – the police closed that zone as soon as we – the last car – came through. We were fortunate not to stall out – it was very deep for about six blocks – clearly the storm drains were way beyond capacity. Hours later the floods are subsiding as the drains clear.

How is the meeting? – very fine workshops and speakers – The Rev. Michael Kinnamon was the keynoter and leader of two workshops – but at this point it is unclear whether we will be able to continue tomorrow and finish. The dangerous storms are said to now be over but …

About 21 hours later, she emailed again with an update, and pictures:

2 great iPhotos
(Ruth Brandon, 2007 Oct 19 23:50:52 UTC)

Sam – with daylight today – I am aware that I was within five minutes of death yesterday! This is the damaged sanctuary where we were worshipping plus a photo from outside – I and half a dozen others were seated exactly under this heap of debris where the balcony and tower landed – we would not have survived. We left only five minutes before the tornado hit. I am thankful today to be alive!


inside 3rd Bapt sanctuary after tornado


tornado damage – 3rd Bapt Owensboro, KY

All I can say is wow. And I am very glad she is OK.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Friends in Blackwater

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Blackwater in Iraq
  • Checks and Balances

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Playing with Indention

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Hello this is a paragraph of text to play with margins. Well, that was just a sentence, but here is another sentence. But perhaps a third sentence would be good. And maybe even a fourth. Is that enough to go a few lines. I want this to go a few lines. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is not. So I’ll just repeat the whole thing to be sure. Well, except this last part, which won’t be last any more. Hello this is a paragraph of text to play with margins. Well, that was just a sentence, but here is another sentence. But perhaps a third sentence would be good. And maybe even a fourth. Is that enough to go a few lines. I want this to go a few lines. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is not.

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AbulWiki is Back

I gave up on the blank screen on EC2 after plodding through some things for a bit, figuring that most likely it was a difference in configuration between the system there and my main system. I reinstalled mysql to a fresh directory on Cronus, then after “zapping gremlins” from the backup file was able to restore the database. I then had to go in and add permissions back to the relevant database user by hand. But then boom AbulWiki was back in business.

Woo.

Perhaps I’ll still spend a little more time trying to get it to run on the EC2 instance. Or perhaps not. If I don’t by the end of this weekend I’ll just kill the instance. But it was a fun exercise anyway.

I’m also going to make a couple updates to how I do the daily mysql dump of the wiki. Namely, make it save the backups indefinitely with date based names rather than only keeping the last two days worth.

I think I’ll go set that up right now.

But WOO! I got it back. And seemingly with no data loss, which is always a good thing.

So now I can hear Brandy say “I told you so”. :-)

Twelve

According to my calculations, Amy will be exactly 12 years old at 03:21 UTC today. That’s 4382.90639 days old. That moment is just over an hour from the moment I am posting this. Woo. Go Amy! Woo Woo!

And now we’re going to dinner out at one of the places she likes to eat along with one of her friends from school.

So off I go…

Using EC2

I was going to use my old laptop Zeus, but instead I’m trying to get the wiki back up and running on EC2. I got the signed up. Got the EC2 instance up and running with an image pre-populated with apache, mysql and php. I transfered over all my wiki files, and the last mysql dump I had. I restored from the dump. At first it gave some db errors because there was one place where the host location was hardcoded. Then I changed that and also the user grants in the db to get around that.

Now I have no db errors, but a blank white screen.

More debugging to go.

If I get it all up and running, I won’t KEEP running it at EC2 for a variety of reasons. It will just give me the confidence to wipe my current setup on Cronus and rebuild there. But EC2 is proving to be a handy quick way to get another “machine” up and running to try some things out on.

With the data transfer and everything, and me having run the instance overnight while I slept too, so far it has cost me $2.38 to have this EC2 instance up and running.