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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Alex is TEN!!!

Well, he turned ten quite a few days ago now, but I was otherwise occupied and couldn’t get to do this post. Oops.

The actual time he hit precisely ten years old when taking into account time zones, leap years, the fact that years are not an even number of days, etc. was September 13th at 02:52 UTC. That would be September 12th at 7:52 PM Pacific time, 10:52 PM Eastern.

The actual moment passed without much notice because we waited until the weekend to do the actual celebrations. Alex’s best friend Kaylin came over for a sleepover, and we did the usual thing with presents. It was a good birthday. Everybody had fun.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALEX!!

A little bit before the birthday, I attempted to do the traditional annual interview. The last few years Alex has decided to talk less and less on these, and instead do other things. At least last year, after a few minutes he did start talking. This year, nope. But here is what we got. (With guest cameos by Amy to help with transitions.)

Oh, and for the few of you who might care, I set up a playlist that includes all the previous interviews and a few other random home movie sorts of things including Alex. It is here.

Just a few highlights this year. As he gets older, it is up to Alex what he shares, not me.

  • Alex’s YouTube channel ALeXMXeLA is up to 63 subscribers (13 more than this time last year). Help get him to 100! Subscribe!
  • We are still many years behind in posting videos to the channel. When posting videos “in order,” we are posting videos recorded when he was six. This last year we’ve also done a lot of live streams as well though, which also are published on the channel once they are over. Alex has said he wants to stop producing much new content until we can catch up a bit though. As part of that, he has said that after we get to publishing the 200th in order video, instead of him doing lots of editing in Final Cut Pro, he wants me to push out a few hundred videos straight out of the recordings to save time. We’ll see how that goes. I still need to find the time to do THAT.
  • Alex is now in FOURTH grade. He is testing several grade levels higher in math, and halfway through high school in terms of reading level though, so I suspect he is somewhat bored, although he won’t explicitly admit it.
  • He usually doesn’t read books, though. Wikis. Not Wikipedia, but niche wiki’s about video games. Minecraft. Terraria. Five Nights at Freddy’s. Subnautica. Whatever. If it is a game he has played, watched being played, or is considering playing, he searches the web and finds the best wiki on that game and then studies it until he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the game. Then he quizzes people in the family about trivia from those games and laughs when we do not know the answers.
  • He and his dog Miley are still best friends, but now we also have Jetski. We got Jetski last December. As I post this on September 21st, it is his first birthday. He is huge. He is crazy. He is a puppy. Alex and Jetski have a love-hate relationship. They play together constantly. Jetski usually finds Alex to cuddle with when they sleep. But Jetski is a puppy and plays with his teeth, and Alex riles him up to play continuously, and eventually, Alex gets mad at Jetski for being too rough, even though Alex started it. So they are still learning. I think they are both getting better about this as they get older though. Miley usually watches from a distance. You can see the thought bubble over her head. “Kids. What can you do?”

As usual, there is lots more. But this is enough.

Happy birthday Alex!!!

Alex and Miley

Twins

Boy and Puppy

Alex is NINE!!

Well, he turned 9 yesterday… we aren’t celebrating this year until the 21st because of all kinds of scheduling things that also are my excuse for not having this post go out at the exact moment as usual. But at September 12th at 21:03 UTC (2:03 PM Pacific, 5:03 PM Eastern), Alex was exactly nine years old.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!!!!!

So first, the traditional annual interview. He is uncooperative as has been normal for the past few years. In the first half of the video (recorded a few hours BEFORE he turned 9) he pretends to be 3 and does not speak in full sentences and hides a lot. In the second half of the video (recorded a few hours AFTER he turned 9) he speaks more fully, but spends his time climbing all over my office and jumping on me and generally being unresponsive to actual questions. Then he spits. I miss the years where he actually spent five minutes giving honest answers to my questions! But those days are long gone! :-)

Now, a few highlights of what Alex is like at this milestone. Each year of course the I provide less details, as it is more up to him to talk about himself. But I’ll allow myself a few highlights.

  • Alex’s YouTube channel is now up to 50 subscribers. Help him get to 100. Subscribe now!
  • We are still years behind publishing his videos. We have 7 external 4 TB hard drives almost completely full of videos he has recorded. I just bought an 8th. We’re still publishing videos from the FIRST of those hard drives. Videos he recorded when he was 6. He’ll do live streams occasionally, or publish something out of order when he really wants to though, so there is current stuff on the channel too, in between the old stuff.
  • But, over the last few months, we’ve upgraded our kit. He is now editing the videos he puts out with Final Cut Pro X, professional level video editing software, rather than us just posting things right off the screen recording, or using something simple like iMovie. So more and more titles and special effects, animations, and other fancy things are getting added in. Now, we still haven’t quite gotten to the point where he realizes that sometimes less is more in terms of those sorts of things, and that perhaps we can edit out some of the slower bits from the videos, but his technical aptitude is increasing by leaps and bounds as he figures out the tools. I help occasionally with bits and pieces, but MOST of what you see in his videos is all him…
  • He is also doing lots of image editing. It is for his videos too, as he is making “custom thumbnails” for them rather than accepting whatever YouTube picks by default. This usually means taking several screenshots from the video, then composing them in collage style in Pixelmator (a nice image editing tool for the Mac), adding in the episode title and such. Just like Final Cut Pro X, he has been getting very proficient in using Pixelmator to get the results he wants. Some of the thumbnails he puts together are quite complex.
  • Alex is now in third grade!
  • Sometime a few months ago, his primary TV watching switched from YouTube, where he used to watch lots of DanTDM and Stampy and such, to binge watching various series on the various streaming platforms. Recent shows he has binge watched from start to finish are the new Voltron series, Transformers Prime and Transformers RescueBots, Ninjago, and everything ever put out in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.
  • He and his dog Miley are still best friends. Well, Miley likes him best when he is asleep or chilling and calm. When he is excited and bopping all over the place, Miley tolerates him. He still is a bit rougher with her than she should be as she gets older, but she is VERY good and puts up with everything.
  • Alex still does Minecraft. He has some worlds that he has been working on for over three years. Incredibly elaborate, including red stone contraptions, behaviors he programs with command blocks, and all sorts of other things.
  • The whole family went to a “family camp” together at Camp Seymour for a long weekend this summer along with Alex’s best friend Kaylin. Alex and Kaylin (and Amy!) had a blast. All sorts of traditional camp activities. They were running around flat out having fun for the whole time. Alex still insists he doesn’t want to do it again next year, but…
  • Lego is back in the picture with a vengeance! He is doing things with Lego sets every day almost. Sometimes straight out of his imagination, but often building sets following the instructions, sometimes large complex ones that he does over the course of many days. There is Lego EVERYWHERE right now.

As usual, there was certainly much more. But this is enough.

Happy birthday Alex!!!

Starting Third Grade!

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Goaty Little Hooves

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, a break from politics and the news. Sam is joined by his wife Brandy and son Alex (with a cameo by daughter Amy) to discuss a few highlights of the start of their road trip from the Philadelphia area to the Seattle area. The hijinks include Sam donating their luggage to charity, Sam shoplifting, fleeing a really bad hotel, and more…

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-07-27
Length this week – 0:58:38

  • (0:00:20-0:01:56) Intro
  • (0:03:56-0:20:40) Day 1: Donated Bag, Stealing from Wawa
  • (0:22:23-0:43:35) Day 2: Abandoned Turnpike, Bad Hotel
  • (0:44:44-0:52:17) Day 3: Safari Park
  • (0:52:56-0:58:17) Outro

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Nice to be appreciated…

Part of a profile of himself Alex is doing as homework.

Miley and her sleeping boy

The 2017 tree is a little different…