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



July 2009

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Capitol-ism

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • DC
  • Hosting
  • History Lessons
  • Governor Palin
  • Holder Prosecuting?
  • Presidential Power

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Note: For those using the “View in iTunes” link, it often takes iTunes quite a few hours to show a new episode after the episode is posted here. So if you are looking for the podcast very soon after I post this, use one of the other methods to find the new episode. For those who are subscribed, your Podcast software should pick up the new episode next time it checks for new episodes on its own, or you can always force a refresh. For those using the XML feed directly, the new episode is now there.


DVD: Doctor Who: Inferno: Disk One

This last Friday Amy wasn’t home, and the movie of the week was another old Doctor Who. This time it was the Third Doctor story Inferno from 1970. My vague memory is that this is the first Third Doctor episode I ever saw back when I was a teenager.

As of late as we have been going through the old episodes, I have been anxious to get past the 1960’s stuff and get on to the slightly more recent 4th Doctor and beyond stuff. But some of the 3rd Doctor stories actually aren’t too bad. This is one of those. I didn’t have strong memories of this story, so I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’ve enjoyed it so far. Some funny moments. Interesting story so far, etc.

Now, this was only Episodes 1-4… 5-7 are on Disk Two. So we’ll see if I continue to think the same way.

But for now, I think of the 3rd Doctor episodes, I kind of like this one.

[Edit 2009 Sep 22 02:48 UTC – We just went to watch disk two, only to find it was all extras, and in fact all seven episodes of this were on the first disk. So please ignore the above, a new review will be posted once we watch ALL of Disk One.]

Amy Bottles

DVD: The Philadelphia Story

We’ve been pretty good the last few weeks at actually doing the family movie night every Friday. Two Friday’s ago it was my movie again, and as I do every other one of my movies, it was time for working my way up the AFI 100 Years 100 Movies list and it was time for #51, The Philadelphia Story. With this movie I have now watched 50 of the 100 movies! Woo! I’m on my way!

Anyway, it is a funny little romantic comedy sort of thing. Amy was skeptical at first and did not want to watch it. It was old, it was black and white, and it was one of my picks. Harumpf!

Anyway, by the time it was over, she loved it. She keeps a little “Quotes File” on her iPhone, and she added several quotes from this movie. And she and Brandy both laughed a bunch.

Meanwhile, I thought it was OK. It was a fun little movie I guess, but I wasn’t overly impressed, and if you ask me about it in a couple years, I probably will remember very little about it.

But in general people liked it, and the fact that Amy liked it made it a fun time.

So, good movie. Probably worth a rental once.

Double Time

A few weeks ago I complained that while the iPhones new speed adjustment feature for podcasts was neat, it was buggy and stopped me from listening to podcasts the way I want to (randomly shuffled and mixed with music). That is all still very much true. (Although hopefully Apple will fix it at some point.)

The end result here has been a rapid collapse in the amount of music I listen to when I am using my iPhone, as if I have to actually CHOOSE, I have to be in a pretty rare mood to choose music over a podcast. If they are mixed randomly, I can have both and I’m happy about it, and the mix generally actually even favors the music. But if I’m in the car for 20 minutes to drive to or from work, I’ll put on podcasts, not music.

Now, I can’t shuffle them any more, so I’ve been listening to them ordered by age, so I’m always listening to my oldest unlistened to podcast. Which is OK I guess.

But then comes the double time stuff. This is GREAT. It is generally not hard to listen to at all. I can listen to double the amount in the same amount of time. And I actually find that I am getting more out of it and retaining more of what I hear. Because the speed of the speech now (almost) keeps up with my thought. (I could probably actually go up to triple speed and that might be perfect for a lot of these.) It makes you realize just how SLOW people are talking normally. Especially some people. The double speed just seems to make everything more easy to engage with.

And yes, I even listened to my own podcast this way, and yes… it is much improved by being compressed from an hour to half an hour at double the speed. It tempts me to figure out a way to speed it up before publishing… then I could speed it up EVEN MORE on the iPhone. :-)

I find it annoying though that you can’t double time the video podcasts. It is making me think of switching to audio only versions where available, or even ditching some of them completely.

Oh, and I sometimes flip to normal speed when listening to music oriented podcasts… although sometimes those are improved by double speed as well. :-)

Cinema: Up

So I really wanted to see Up, and while we waited a little while after it was out to see it, I did drag the whole family to see it, and we saw it in 3D.

Suffice it to say that I agree with pretty much everybody who has reviewed this. I loved it. Great movie. The beginning part was particularly poignant. And then the fun adventure began. As usual for Pixar films, most of the characters are great, and there is a lot of good humor. I particularly liked the dog (Dug), and the bird (Kevin).

Parts of it were of course a bit predictable, but I didn’t care. It was just a lot of fun. And it was cute. And it was funny. And it was sentimental. All the kinds of things I like in a movie. :-)

Now, by this point it has been out for a long time, so if you haven’t seen it yet, go out and see it. Don’t wait for DVD. And if you can see it in 3D, do so. It is the polarized kind, not the old colored glasses kind, so it works much better. Our only problem was that at the theater we saw it in there was a distracting dent in the center of the screen that was emphasized more with the 3D glasses on, but I’d still say the 3D actually added, without being too gimicky.

Anyway. Fun. Good. Go see.

Back in Action

Aside from one exception for last week’s podcast, there have been no posts here because there was a bit of a meltdown with the server that had been used to host for the last little bit. This was a server owned by my friend Chris which I have been allowed to use as a favor, which I greatly appreciate. When the machine went down, Chris helped get everything set up another place temporarily to let me post last week’s podcast, but because I didn’t yet have my full suite of automated backups and such going there, I didn’t post anything else. And this proved to be the push to move off of Chris’s stuff onto regular old hosting that I’ve been meaning to do for years now but just never got around to.

So as of about 10 hours ago, is now in a new home which I actually pay for. And yes, I went for a cheap ass plan, and yes, because of that it was probably more of a pain in the ass than it would have been if I’d paid more, but whatever, it is all set up now. If it proves to be insufficient in the future I guess I’ll upgrade.

Oh, and the wiki and my graphs are still yet another place. I’ll probably try to consolidate those over the next few weeks too.

Anyway, I’m back. I have a few posts to catch up on, and I need to get this week’s podcast out tonight as well.

So, higher than average posting tonight.


Unless I get distracted by something shiny.