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



May 2009

Diary of Hiram Harvey Hurlburt Jr: Chapter 12

A boy at 14 is a mystery. He is not old enough to have judgement of any value; at least his superiors in age look at it in that way as very liable to err in that respect.

In the saw-mill yard at Quaker Village stood a large butternut tree, and in the fall there was a great many nuts on it. This kind of nuts hang on the tree generally until frost comes. This year the frost was late, I had been looking to get our share one half. I noticed young men would come there, and knock them off and crack and eat them until satisfied. I told father how they were being used up in that way; father said, at last. “We will have tomorrow to see if we cannot have some.” The next morning I went up there early, and how it was possible for anyone even if it was a moonlight night? Had gathered every one, scarcely one left!

I went into the house and told father about it. He made no remark at all. As I look at it now, what was the use? It might have been ten days afterwards a young girl was sent to our house with a two quart measure full of butternut meats, very nicely taken from the nuts. Mother made a cake with them in it; also pies that were extremely rich, but as I remember proved to be of healthy living.

Somewhat later father started out with his span of horses lumber box wagon with two double chairs for seats. They were like the kitchen chairs of those days, bottoms of oak prepared and wove very substantial. Two grown people or three children could sit in one of them. Father drove down about three miles where on the bank of the Otter creek there were butternut and walnut trees and we spent the whole day in gathering those nuts; we had for company on this trip my Uncle Robbins and aunt also their daughter Loeazer. It was a fine day. Such perfect happiness comes only a few times in one life. That is: According to Herbert Spencer, who says, “No one can be perfectly happy, until all are happy. At the time such experience comes to the young we neglect to appreciate them, we are anticipating something beyond that will outweigh the present, sometimes we get there, and find more or less reality, but sometimes we find disappointment.”

(The full diary will be located here when complete.)

Diary of Hiram Harvey Hurlburt Jr: Chapter 11

This year came to me as learning to work, to find an honorable way to get a living, or even a few shillings possible for a boy to possess. There was not much opening. I drove a cow to and from pasture quite faithful for one man a neighbor, and was to have the current ninepence “Spannish Coin” for the job, really it was twelve and a half cents counted out in the coin of the realm.

I probably bought in imagination more toys and useful to me things than one could store in a good sized room. When the cash was earned I just went for it but never once cent could I get; finally I was so persistent that the neighbor told me; if I ever asked for it again he would slap me! I then gave up, and if I could found the Emperor of China. I could in great humbleness told my tale. I watched him after years, for I was sure he would take things that did not belong to him if the opportunity [full line of text missing] he broke in and took what he please and never made any report of his pilfering.

I never but once lifted any thing that did not belong to me. That time I was going to school about seven years of age, and I wished a piece of white chalk to mark with. At my father’s sawmill there was a mill wright at work in the yard. He had laid a small piece down not larger than a small walnut or chesnut. I carefully edged to it and pocketed it, and went on to school. But of all the fears, that afternoon were the worst I ever knew. I could not mark with it for others would see it and the constant expectation to be called for was terrible. But after school closed I made my way back to the same identical square stick of timber to replace that ill gotten trouble.

I recollect in September my father in regard to my industry said I could go with him a 17 mile ride to Goshen, this was a great treat, never been so far from home and the weather was beautiful. We passed the Leicester Pond. Father related what happened at one end. There was an iron ore mine found, what is called “Bog ore”. The miners had been digging it for a number of years. One day they went to dinner and on their return the mine was full of water, and no one drowned. This Leicester pond or lake had burst in and the iron ore was irrecoverably lost. The twenty five wheel barrows and all other tools lay there, and no one can ever recover them.

My father was a preacher of the Christian Denomination and this was his appointment in Goshen. We stayed at a member of the church by the name of Justus Dart. Some way that evening I burned my hand, Mrs. Dart took me quietly and exorcised the fire out of it, by saying over a form, that must not be repeated in a loud voice, and the previous form is only learned by a man repeating to a woman one at a time and the believer a woman, may repeat to a man. I was told this mystery, and the burn was easier, whether the success was owing to the flour paste it was covered with or the exorcise; I have never been able to determine. I have given this away to the opposite sex sometimes with great caution, only such as I supposed could reverence the form.

At service the next day there was a full house and awakening interest influence was felt; at the close of the preaching the house seemed to be in tears, and when the invitation was given out for to rise, if they wished a change of heart. I made a move, as if I was forced to do it, appeared to me. Now was the time. I had been a Sunday School scholar a number of years and this training probably has ben the reason of starting out in the new life. Age thirteen and three months. I immediately commenced to do right in my estimation. It seemed no trouble to getting to the right path, but it was a watchful effort to keep there. I came back with father the Monday following pondering a portion of the journey on what Mrs. Dart told me the last thing. “That I was made for a preacher!” I wanted to ask father about that prophecy – but concluded to wait until I could understand the duties of such a calling.

When we came home Grandmother Hurlburt was informed that I had a change of heart. She was quite positive it was a wrong thing in one so young. This grandmother was in every evening. One of my chores were to milk two cows; a job I had always protested more or less. But after this experience the disagreeable tax seemed to have disappeared, and one evening as I came in with the milk, grandmother made the remark. “I think Hiram is converted for he makes no fuss about milking.” Then I discovered myself the irksomeness of the job had disappeared; even now when writing at the age of seventy four this has a strong argumentative force to convince me of God’s word and the forgiveness of sin.

(The full diary will be located here when complete.)

DVD: In the Shadow of the Moon

It was a couple of weekends ago now, but it was time for a DVD we own but had never watched. The choice this time was In the Shadow of the Moon a DVD Brandy had given me for Christmas. It is a documentary on the various space flights to the moon, now almost 40 years ago. No narrator, just clips from interviews with the astronauts. I’d known most of the “factoids” mentioned, but this was still very well done and offered a look at things from a bit different direction than I’d seen before, with the emphasis on the first person recollection of the events.

The most lasting impression for me though wasn’t that, it was some of the film based (rather than video based) footage of some of the later moon landings. THe bit that gets replayed over and over and is ingrained in everybody’s consciousness is the fuzzy footage of the first landing. That’s what always had come to my mind anyway. But some of the footage from the later missions… crystal clear clarity. Looked like it could have been a brand new high def TV show. OK, not quite, I know it was DVD quality, but still, a lot better than any of my previous memories of watching footage of stuff from this era.

And it was beautiful. The space ships. The people in suits… and the landscape of the moon. Not just a little bit of land right under the lander, but mountains and valleys and hills, with the moon buggy driving around and kicking up dust. It was striking.

For those not into documentary type stuff, you probably won’t like this. But if you like historical or scientific documentaries, this is a good one to add to your queue.

Computers Don’t Like Losing Power

It seems sometime a few hours ago power went out at my house, just for a few seconds. But it was enough. It seems when my computer came back up, my mail index or something was all screwed up. Apple’s lovely little mail program is now working on reimporting my last 12+ years of email. 23K messages done so far out of 2.2M emails in my archive. Wow. 2.2 Million emails? Now, of course, quite a lot of those are spam. And a lot are duplicates accidentally created at various points over the years. But whatever.

At the moment it is saying 22 more hours to complete reimporting my mail.

I hope it succeeds in a happy way that leaves everything the way I would expect.

If not, it will be time for my first really important test of Time Machine.

I am somewhat impatient and tempted to just try that restore rather than waiting 22 hours, but I figure I’ll let do what it wants first.