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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@abulsme Updates from 2012-08-11 (UTC)

  • Reading – It's Jon Huntsman Sr, right Harry? (Kos) http://t.co/v0gJ2F0E #
  • RT @BreakingNews: Mitt Romney to name vice presidential running mate on Saturday in Norfolk, VA – @AP, @Reuters, @FoxNews #
  • RT @BreakingNews: RT @NBCNews: NBC News: 3 Sources indicate Rep Paul Ryan is Romney's Vice Presidential pick. #
  • RT @ObsoleteDogma: Is there any doubt Paul Ryan would be the worst choice for Romney? Makes it impossible to Etch-a-Sketch the Ryan Plan. #
  • RT @owillis: "bobby jindal/paul ryan will save us" — things conservatives are actually thinking today, bless their hearts. #
  • RT @markos: Romney camp pretends they have NO IDEA why their candidate is swooning, http://t.co/Ou4Lbo9M. Oh, and Rasmussen! #
  • RT @LarrySabato: On VP, it is what it is, it happens when it happens, everyone take a prozac. #
  • RT @BreakingNews: RT @breakingpol: Republican official confirms to @AP: Romney will choose Paul Ryan for running mate http://t.co/W2oP2Vpl #
  • RT @chasemberger: @LarrySabato I keep repeating; If Romney has to rely on the VP choice to win, he has already lost. #
  • MT @jesseltaylor: Mitt Romney: "Please take all discussion of everything I've done in my life off the table, Mr. Obama" http://t.co/2vEHziMD #
  • RT @drgrist: Romney to media: please confine yourself to transcribing my campaign talking points. Tx. #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: Paul Ryan would be good for web traffic and cable news ratings. #
  • RT @markos: How could this awesome week end any better? With Mitt Romney crying "Uncle!" #
  • RT @dandrezner: RT @Zathras3: This is a real shame, because FZ's talk show is better than others in US by an order of magnitude. #
  • RT @brendanloy: I think picking Ryan would be a political mistake for Romney. But it would certainly make this election more interesting. #
  • MT @EWErickson: Several ppl tell me Van Sustren posted that the Secret Service showed up at Paul Ryan's home. Looks like the post is gone. #
  • RT @brendanloy: Announcing the veep on a sleepy Saturday morning in August, the penultimate day of the Olympics, is weird. #
  • RT @BuzzFeedBen: Choosing Ryan would = abandoning the idea that Romney can win a referendum on Obama, and running on a clear alternative. #
  • RT @daveweigel: Everybody chill out and wait for the Romney app. Be polite. #
  • RT @HuntsmanLiddy: Who's up on a Saturday at 9am? Not me. #RomneyVP #
  • RT @smotus: Romney's VP pick will be a game-changer. By "game-changer," I mean carbon-based life form. #
  • RT @smotus: Sounds like we can expect Romney to lose Wisconsin by 2 points less than he otherwise would have. #
  • RT @delrayser: Seriously, how is this not the worst day/time/place you could pick for this announcement? #
  • RT @Richard_Florida: Just checked Intrade: Romney VP pick – Ryan 30%, Portman 25.7%, Pawlenty 15%, Obama reelection – 60.3% … #
  • RT @davidfrum: Ryan = we stop talking about Romney's taxes, talk non-stop about the No. 2 man's ideas. #
  • RT @davidfrum: If Ryan is the running mate, GOP had better hope for very, very, very low turnout among under-55s. #
  • RT @daveweigel: If it's Ryan it'll be the 2nd consecutive veep pick lobbied for, successfully, by Bill Kristol. #
  • RT @davidfrum: On the bright side, Ryan would be a much better choice than Sarah Palin! #
  • RT @daveweigel: Are we still doing that thing where people underrate Paul Ryan's political skills? #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: I'm inherently skeptical about VP rumors. But Ryan is not the guy you'd use as a decoy. #
  • RT @markos: It's really a bold move by the Romney campaign to put the senior vote up for grabs! #
  • RT @RichardA: According to everyone on Twitter, Paul Ryan will be Romney's VP pick. So that's got to be right. #
  • RT @markos: Dear Romney campaign, Fridays are when you announce BAD news. Oh wait… #
  • RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: So now sources have indicated to NBC News, Weekly Standard, and Huffington Post it is Paul Ryan. #
  • RT @BuzzFeedBen: Ryan would be the first real surprise move in Romney's political career, at least as long as I've paid attention. #
  • RT @marcambinder: NBC NEws reports that Tagg Romney told Pawlenty and Portman that they weren't the pick. Romney delegated the calls! #
  • RT @LarrySabato: Whether you love or hate Ryan's ideas, at least maybe we'll have a debate about more than gaffes & negative ads. #
  • RT @gruber: My money is on Dan Quayle. #
  • RT @frankstrategies: ! MT @mboyle1: A law enforcement source of mine says Secret Service at Paul Ryan's house. #
  • RT @markos: Everyone is fired up tonight! Conservatives because they showed Romney who was boss. Liberals because we're going to win! #
  • MT @fivethirtyeight: I think Ryan pick (if rumors true) indicates bearish view from Romney. Not a pick you make if you think you're ahead. #
  • RT @LarrySabato: Romney selection of Ryan (16 days before convo) earliest in modern times–except Kerry pick of Edwards in '04 (20 days). #
  • MT @kesgardner: Romney VP App seems to be last to know that it's Paul Ryan. Expect old media to home in on this fail like a laser. #
  • RT @daveweigel: Dems deriding Romney's Ryan choice are accidentally arguing that Romney has done something… bold and not poll-tested. #
  • RT @RBReich: I've debated Paul Ryan. He won't help Romney. #
  • RT @mattyglesias: Was smart to leak this news at a time on day when non-Mormons are typically drunk. #
  • Woke up early to watch the Ryan thing. Yawn! #
  • Reading – WIPO's Broadcasting Treaty is back: a treaty to end the public domain, fair use and CC (Cory Doctorow) http://t.co/qYrmC4PH #
  • Romney forgot to say the next "Vice" President when introducing Ryan. Oops. #
  • Reading – Let's All Learn About Paul Ryan Together (Paul Constant) http://t.co/TTSrcwGw #
  • Reading – Paul Ryan Wins The Veepstakes: Reax (Patrick Appel) http://t.co/1xNbK9hf #
  • RT @BuzzFeedBen: That gaffe solidifies what's already going to be Romney's challenge: Isn't this really about Ryan now, not Mitt? #
  • RT @BuzzFeedBen: Bit late for this RT @PeterHambyCNN: according to Romney internal talking points, Romney will not embrace the Ryan plan #
  • Reading – The Romney Campaign's Talking Points On Paul Ryan (Zeke Miller) http://t.co/tWTm0bjX #
  • MT @ZekeJMiller: Trumka on Ryan: We're witnessing the radical Tea Party extremes drive its final nail in what was once the Republican Party. #
  • MT @chrislhayes: Ryan said USA is only place founded on an idea, but I don't think that's true. Israel & Liberia seem to qualify. Others? #
  • RT @el_bhask: @chrislhayes how were India, Kenya, or any of the post-colonial states not founded on an idea? #
  • MT @CrassPolitical Ryan is the first candidate on a national ticket to have a 1970's birthdate. That stings. #
  • Reading – Ryan wants to give the wealthy even bigger tax cuts than Romney does (Suzy Khimm) http://t.co/0JJ2CFOn #
  • Reading – Romney Picks Paul Ryan as Veep, Hopes Everyone Will Now Stop Asking About His Taxes (Kevin Drum) http://t.co/oJIKOhnB #
  • Reading – Romney/Ryan 2012 Means We'll Ignore the Biggest Issue of Our Time (Matthew Yglesias) http://t.co/LIWF9LoY #
  • RT @HotlineReid: Ryan will run simultaneously for his House seat in WI-01. State law prevents him from bailing this late in the cycle. #
  • Nobody noticed? RT @ZekeJMiller: Note: the protective pool started on Aug. 6th #
  • MT @owillis: ryan pick means rubio won't have the stink of fail when he runs. most formidable gop presidential candidate going forward. #
  • RT @owillis: shorter obama to romney-ryan: thanks for throwing me in that thar briar patch! LOL #
  • RT @nycsouthpaw: Still dazzled by the genius of picking Paul Ryan as your VP and then disavowing his budget the same morning. #
  • RT @fivethirtyeight: If Obama wins, most likely 2016 match-up is: Paul Ryan vs. Hillary Clinton. That would be pretty epic. #
  • MT @owillis: now sure, this pick isn't as funny as sarah palin – but that was the perfect storm. we shall not see it again in our lifetimes. #
  • RT @NickKristof: On Intrade, Mitt Romney's chance of election has fallen today since selecting Ryan for VP slot. Seems right to me. #
  • MT @dccommonsense: Romney picks horrible VP choice. Ryan?Really?When you need to woo Indep to win??? This is move that galvanizes YOUR OPPO #
  • MT @dccommonsense: Analyst say Ryan will shore up the "base"…was the "base" NOT going to vote against Obama? Dumb pick. #
  • Reading – A Risky Rationale Behind Romney’s Choice of Ryan (Nate Silver) http://t.co/2Ojydtiw #
  • Reading – Paul Ryan: The Romney Running Mate The Right-Wing Media Demanded (Matt Gertz) http://t.co/V5e4VTRA #

A Break from the Walk

SLU Commute Review

From February 20th to August 2nd, I tracked my inbound commute time from my house in Snohomish County to work in South Lake Union in Seattle.*  We changed buildings last week, and the commute will be different, so time to review my results.  The most critical chart is the one above, showing the parking space to parking space time, given different times I left home.  As you can see, this is highly variable, from a minimum of 30 minutes a couple of times, to a maximum of 106 minutes.  (That was a pretty awful commute day!)

As can be expected, the worst time to leave is during the morning rush.  Duh.  But specifically the 10 minute bucket from 14:10 to 14:20 UTC is the worst possible time to leave for work, with the 95% confidence interval for the trip being 47 to 85 minutes and the average trip time being 66 minutes.

So how often did I hit that worst case?

Too much.  My most frequent time to leave home was between 14:00 and 14:10 UTC, where the 95% confidence interval was 43 to 65 minutes, with an average of 54 minutes.  But the second most frequent bucket was indeed at the worst possible time.  Ouch.  Unfortunately, if I was leaving at that time of day, it most likely meant I had a meeting at 15:00 UTC, and leaving between 14:00 and 14:10 I had a 63% chance of getting to work by 15 UTC.  Leaving between 14:10 and 14:20 UTC those odds dropped to 17%.  By comparison, if I actually managed to leave between 13:50 and 14:00 UTC, I had a 100% chance of getting to work by 15 UTC, because the confidence interval for the trip at that time was 37 to 65 minutes with an average of 46 minutes.  It just proved really difficult for me to get myself regularly up and out of bed in time to leave quite that early.  I was often running 10-15 minutes late for that goal, which was enough to make the commute dramatically worse, and cause me to be a few minutes late for those 15 UTC meetings.  Oops.

You can also see a bimodal distribution starting to be evident in my departure times.  I’d either leave between 13:30 UTC and 15:00 UTC, or I wouldn’t leave until after 16:00 UTC.  It was pretty rare for me to leave home between 15 and 16 UTC.  This distribution is closely related to when my first meetings of the day happen to be.  If I don’t have the early meeting, when I leave for work is significantly later, and shows a much more spread out distribution.  This shows I probably could use a lot more discipline about getting up and out and to work at a consistent time on days I don’t have a meeting driving the arrival time.

Oh, and the best time to leave, at least of times I have tried enough to have data for, is between 17:00 and 17:10 UTC with a 95% confidence interval from 31 to 33 minutes, with a 32 minute average.  I only have two data points at that time though, so probably not a really reliable estimate, but certainly much nicer than leaving between 14:10 and 14:20 UTC.

Anyway.  Fun data to look at.  We’re at a new building now, so I have to start collecting data from scratch to reflect the new commute.  So far I only have 3 data points inbound and 2 data points outbound, so not enough to draw any conclusions yet.  My gut feel is that on average the commute will be a bit longer, the raw distance is slightly greater and it seems like it takes longer to get to a parking spot in the new garage too, but it will take awhile to confirm that with data.

* There isn’t data for every day I went to work, because this only includes direct trips with no stops or detours.  So if I needed to stop for gas, or to drop off Alex at daycare, or otherwise did anything other than a direct trip from home to work, I would not take a data point.  I also tried to do the same exercise for the commute home, but as it turned out I very rarely went straight home from work with no stops, and when I did I often forgot to note the times, so I didn’t have enough data to draw a meaningful chart.

Edit 2012 Aug 11 16:52 to add the bit about the best time to leave.

Edit 2012 Aug 11 18:41 to add axis labels to the second graph.

Veep Ryan

Minus something incredibly unexpected, it looks like the table is now set for November.  So here we go.

This is an interesting and risky choice for Romney.  My initial take is that this will not do much in terms of the electoral analysis.  Ryan will not flip Wisconsin into a Romney state.  Ryan will not win over a lot of voters from “the center” who are on the fence between Obama and Romney.  Perhaps Ryan will help in terms of increasing enthusiasm on the right and improving Republican voter turnout.  That will indeed be important, but I’m not sure that will be decisive.

For the most part though, this seems to be a pick aimed at making people happy who would vote for Romney anyway, not convincing any of the folks who actually really still could go either way.  I guess this is what Romney felt he needed at the moment.  But I don’t think it is going to help him much.  Of course, over the next few week’s we’ll see if the polling (specifically the state by state polling) backs up my gut, or shows something else.