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.



November 2010

Kindle Ratio for 15 Nov 2010: 65%

So, here we are with the Kindle Ratio (what proportion of the last 20 books I’ve read are available on Kindle) as of right after my post about Ender’s Shadow. The percentage goes up a bit because this last book was available, where as the one that dropped off was not. As mentioned, this metric is now biased by the fact that the way I pick books now prefers Kindle books. For those interested, the 20 books this was based on were:

  1. YES – Ender’s Shadow
  2. YES – The Elegant Universe
  3. YES – Children of the Mind
  4. NO – Introduction to Algorithms
  5. YES – Xenocide
  6. YES – The Geography of Bliss
  7. YES – Speaker for the Dead
  8. NO – First Break all the Rules
  9. YES – Ender’s Game
  10. YES – Until the Sea Shall Free Them
  11. YES – Foucoult’s Pendulum
  12. YES – Java The Complete Reference
  13. NO – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  14. YES – The Audacity of Hope
  15. NO – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  16. NO – Data Mining
  17. YES – The Children of Hurin
  18. YES – Dreams from my Father
  19. NO – The Odyssey
  20. NO – Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (Vol II)

I’ll note as I have the last few times that other editions of The Odyssey and the Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (Vol II) are available on Kindle, just not the specific editions I read.

Amy and Grandma D

Taken 2010 Nov 19 on the Seattle Underground tour.

Spending, Scanning and Groping

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Deficit Stuff
  • Airport Security

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 14 Nov 2010″]


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Kitchen Concert

Recorded, edited and uploaded to YouTube all from my iPhone. Posted onto my blog from my computer though, although I guess I could have done it on my iPhone if I wanted to.

First Scuffs

So yesterday I thought my new iPhone 4 was in my pocket. In fact it was on my lap. So when I got out of my car it fell onto the pavement in my driveway. It was not unscathed.

Just some small scuffs in the metal and a tiny chip on the edge of the glass in one spot. Very minor. If you were not looking carefully you would never notice. And even then you would note that the cosmetic defects were tiny and trivial.

Nonetheless these are the first blemishes on my shiny new iPhone. And as always the first time this happens with new gadgets it makes me sad.

But I guess it means it is truly mine now. :-)

Ender’s Shadow

Author: Orson Scott Card
Original Publication: 1999
Started: 2010 Oct 16
Finished : 2010 Oct 24
Format: Kindle
8807 locations / 9 days
979 locations / day

So here we are, continuing the Ender Series. I had thought that I had read Books 1 to 4, but had never read any of the Shadow books that start with Book 5, Ender’s Shadow. Within seconds of starting the book however, I realized that I was wrong. I had indeed read Ender’s Shadow before. While I couldn’t really remember forward, and know for sure what was going to happen on the next page or the next chapter, I did get a strong sense of familiarity with every page I read, like ongoing deja vu. Which of course is in perfect alignment with me having read this before, but many years ago. Most likely not long after it came out in 1999.

In any case, this is essentially a retelling of the same story told in Ender’s Game, but told from the perspective of one of the minor characters in the original book, namely “Bean”. In some ways Bean ends up being a more interesting character than Ender himself, if only by the mere fact that he wasn’t seemingly always the best at everything (although still at many things) and therefore had do understand and deal with his secondary role. At the same time, he was more aware of the larger context of what was going on than Ender, who was pretty oblivious to some major things, of course including the major reveal at the end of the first book. Bean on the other hand, figured out what was really going on and undertook his actions fully knowing the consequences, which in some ways made those events even more poignant.

In more general terms, as Card returns to revisit the events of the first Ender book, he also returns more to the form of a more event driven story, rather than the exploration of philosophical ideas that characterized books 2-4. And while I do enjoy those sorts of explorations, it was nice to return to a more “direct” sort of story for a bit. And it is also fun to see the same events from two radically different perspectives. This is of course a narrative trick that has been used in many different contexts before, from “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” to “Lower Decks” and many others, but it is still fun on occasion.

Bottom line, a good addition to the series which leaves you anticipating the next one…

Tis the Season

First time this season I’ve seen any flakes in our forecast here in Bellevue, WA. We will see if they actually materialize.

The Crack of Dawn

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Mornings
  • Election Results
  • Sanity/Fear Rally
  • Econ Update
  • Sam’s iPhone 4

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 7 Nov 2010″]


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Walking, not Running

I am not running. Just walking the dog. But with an app that makes maps like the above (Nike+ GPS) I just can’t help wanting to go a little faster or farther each time! I mean, look how fun that map is!

Those of you who are Facebook friends have probably seen the little updates the app makes after each time I walk the dog. :-) At some point though I may have to ditch the dog if I want to actually go much faster than our current strolls, as he keeps wanting to stop and do the things dogs do on strolls, and that slows me down! :-)

Puzzle the Eighth