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



March 2011

All Hands 14


(Taken by Brandy Donaghy – Today 06:18 UTC)

My First Computer


I loved that thing.

(YouTube video found via Slog.)

Day Care Orientation

Two mornings a week starting next week. He really liked the playground at orientation and did not want to leave.

Life Changes, Get Used to It

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner… 

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Unhappiest Person
  • Travel and Milestones
  • Libya
  • War Powers
  • Powell Doctrine
  • R2P
  • Japan
  • NYT Paywall

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 20 Mar 2011″]


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Never Mind

Sounds like we just launched missiles into Libya. Guess we are not going to really just provide support and encouragement. We are deeply involved. And Obama is initiating offensive military actions and engaging in acts of war without getting any sort of congressional authorization. Not good.


France Attacks

So, enforcement of the no fly zone in Libya just started… with France taking the lead.

Those of you you listen to the podcast know I (and Ivan) have expressed a huge amount of skepticism on the wisdom of the US getting directly involved militarily. It seemed like folly, adding a third major military commitment, for a cause where while you could certainly make a case that it would be nice to have a regime change in Libya or otherwise constrain the regime, the case that there was a compelling enough direct threat to the US to justify acts of war such as those needed to enforce a no fly zone was very very weak.

However… if Obama has succeeded here in something that George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush all failed in (well, if they even really tried)… namely working toward a UN-supported military action that did NOT have the vast majority of the action done by the US, but rather one where Europe (and perhaps others) take the lead… or maybe even do almost the whole thing by themselves with just symbolic support from the US… well… if that is what happened, then we have a whole new picture here.

It is still really early here. It is not entirely clear exactly what is happening. But it will be interesting to watch. If we do end up having a situation where regional players, who perhaps have more of a direct interest, take the lead and end up doing something successfully, while the US just nods and says “good luck with that”… without somehow getting sucked in deeply and directly… then that is a VERY interesting development. I’ll be especially interested in understanding exactly what the involvement is of the various countries (including the US) in this action.

Time to pay attention closely. I’m sure Ivan and I will be talking about this a bunch in this week’s podcast (which we will record tomorrow) as well.

Interesting times.

It Is Just Inane

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner… 

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • DST
  • Japan
  • Libya
  • Wisconsin

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 13 Mar 2011″]


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Alex is 18 months old now!

(Picture taken 2010 Mar 13 17:54 UTC)

So, when this post goes live at 13:22 UTC (6:22 AM Pacific, 9:22 AM Eastern) Alex will be exactly 18 months old. A year and a half. I am still way way horribly behind in posting pictures and video and stuff… I still haven’t posted the “12th Month” video and it is half a year later now. Oops. I’ll get to it eventually. Maybe when he is in kindergarten. In the mean time, he is already a year and a half old and he is doing all kinds of great things. I haven’t posted an update on those sorts of things in three months, so here goes again…

  • He learned how to use our water cooler. He needed to have a box or something to stand on, but he is constantly grabbing a glass or whatnot, putting it on the cooler, and pouring himself a glass of cool refreshing water. He’ll then take a sip… then pour the rest on the floor. (We have now moved the box he used to stand on, but it is only a matter of time until he figures out he can put something else there.)
  • He has a favorite movie! Pixar’s Cars to be specific. Any other movie or TV show holds his attention for 10 or 15 minutes at a stretch. With Cars, he would sit there and watch almost the whole thing in rapt attention. Now, after a few months of watching it a lot… he would bring the box to me to request it… I think he is finally a little bored with it. He’s thinking about liking Toy Story now instead.
  • He can put on his own boots! Shoes are a little hard, but he now regularly will find rain boots or snow boots or whatnot and put them on. All by himself!
  • He can buckle his own straps in his car seat and high chair and such. It takes a bit of work, but he is very determined and persistent and can do it. He can’t unbuckle yet though, which is probably a very good thing.
  • He chases the dog everywhere. He desperately tries to get Roscoe to chase him too, which Roscoe usually ignores, but Alex is ever hopeful. He will also hug the dog, try to lie on the dog, try to climb on the dog… Luckily, Roscoe is very very patient. Alex loves his dog very much, and Roscoe tolerates it very well. :-)
  • He is getting very eager to start exploring the back yard. It is still a bit cold and wet usually, but he has taken a few tentative exploratory walks… just a few feet from the door before running back in. But come summer…
  • For a couple months now, it has been his job to feed Roscoe. Roscoe will bark to let us know it is dinner time. Alex will run down the stairs (still holding someone’s hand), wait at the landing for the dog to run past, then head to the downstairs closet where we keep the soft food. He’ll get a packet out, and then run to the dogs dish, wait for me to help open the packet, then pour the food out into the dish, put the plastic wrapper in the trash can, and then watch as Roscoe eats, picking up any food that falls on the floor and throwing it back in the bowl. After that, he will help feed Roscoe dry food too. We keep it in a big trash can sort of thing with a scoop. I would generally get a scoopful, then help Alex carry it to the dish where he would dump it, then Alex would bring back the scoop to put back in the can. As of the last 24 hours though, Alex was doing the scooping too. Scoop (just a little bit), carefully run to the dish, dump, come back for more. Feeding Roscoe is Alex’s job now. And he knows it, and does it with glee.
  • He climbs absolutely everything.
  • He sleeps in a bed now instead of a crib.
  • When there are a bunch of something, he will often take it upon himself to move all of the somethings from one place to another. The first time he did this was actually many months ago, when he brought me and Brandy every single bag of coffee from a shelf at a Starbucks, then put them all back when we told him to. But he does it with all kinds of things whenever he gets a chance. (Just in the last few days, with rolls of paper towels and a set of giant chess pieces.)
  • He keeps secret stashes of cheerios in various places throughout the house.
  • He knows what he likes to eat, and will go to the cabinet, get it out, and run with it. (Boxes of cereal and the like.)
  • He knows how to turn on and off his toys by finding and flipping the power switches.
  • As of yesterday, Brandy got him a remote control toy bus, and he figured out how to work it almost immediately. He then generalized the principle and started controlling a remote control bug Amy bought at the same time.
  • Speaking of busses, cars and trucks and trains and the like are the best toys ever. He has a couple favorites he carries with him everywhere.
  • He continues to get a huge kick out of his sister, who is the funniest person EVER… especially when she tickles him or has yelling contests with him. (Yes, she still does that!)
  • He makes sure to close the child gates after he goes through them. It is important. He also will scold the dog for leaving the door open at the bottom of our stairs, then go close it for him.
  • He still likes to hold someone’s hand going down stairs, but he doesn’t REALLY need it. And going up, he no longer waits for anybody, he just runs up the stairs. He will sometimes be upstairs already by the time the person watching him can get up and chase after him.
  • Toward the end of Christmas, he figured out the whole package opening thing, and that often boxes have things in them for him. He now wants to help open almost any box that arrives at the house.

OK, that is probably enough for now. And it is very very late as I actually write this, and I have to get up for work in less than three hours, so I’ll go ahead and hit save and schedule this thing to get published at the appropriate moment.

But hey, wow, a year and a half! He is so big!