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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February 2018
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Just Playing Poker

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan go all “Lightning Round”. They cover a wide variety of topics, including: State polls for 2020, talking policy vs talking scandal, the linked government shutdown and immigration debates, the Space X Falcon Heavy launch, Twitter’s release of Russia data, Ivan’s problems with his door, Rob Porter’s resignation, the aftermath of releasing “the memo”, welcoming a new patron, and much much more.

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-02-08
Length this week – 2:06:22

  • (0:00:15-0:40:16) Lightning 1
    • Sam – Ivan birthday
    • Ivan – Ivan’s door
    • Sam – 2020 polls
    • Ivan – Model 3 Tesla
    • Sam – Facebook news ranking
    • Ivan – Falcon Heavy
  • (0:41:59-1:31:49) Lightning 2
    • Sam – Twitter Russia release
    • Ivan – Rob Porter
    • Sam – Shutdowns and immigration
    • Ivan – FBI agents affairs on text messages
    • Sam – New Patron
    • Ivan – The Memo
  • (1:32:26-2:06:01) Lightning 3
    • Sam – Stock Market
    • Ivan – Polls and Special Elections
    • Sam – Policies vs Scandals
    • Ivan – Ben Carson corruption

 

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.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Revamping the Dog

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk about a number of developments in the Trump-Russia world, including Trump’s attempt to fire Mueller last year, the Dutch hacking the Russians, McCabe’s retirement, Trump not agreeing to an interview, Gates possibly flipping, and more. Then on the eve of Release The Memo Day, a discussion of the expectations for the memo, the objections being raised, and the possible implications. Oh, and it is Ivan’s birthday. Happy birthday Ivan!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
 View Raw Podcast Feed
Download MP3 File
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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-02-02
Length this week – 1:26:20

  • (0:00:15-0:12:33) But First
    • Ivan birthday
    • Show length
    • Agenda
    • Show schedule
  • (0:14:33-0:51:55)Trump Stuff
    • Things not getting attention
    • Trump tried to fire Mueller last year
    • Dutch hacking of Russian DNC hackers
    • McCabe retirement
    • Trump Russian sanctions announcement
    • Trump not agreeing to Mueller Interview
    • Gates flipping
    • Acceleration
  • (0:52:32-1:25:59) Release the memo
    • Expectations on what is in the memo
    • Objections to the memo
    • Who is the audience, what are the goals?
    • Republicans Attacking Republicans
    • Predictions
    • Trump Affairs

 

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.

Amy is TWENTY TWO!

According to my calculations, taking into account all the geeky things I take into account, at 13:22 UTC today (6:22 AM Pacific, 9:22 AM Eastern), Amy will be exactly 22 years old.

Happy Birthday Amy!!!

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Shuck and Jive

On Curmudgeon’s Corner this week, Sam and Ivan review the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and compare to what Katrina looked like 12 years ago. Then they dive into politics, looking at Trumps latests dalliances with the Democrats and what should or should not be read into that, followed by a discussion on the latest efforts on healthcare from both the Republican and Democratic side. Then at the end, a discussion of this week’s Apple announcements.

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-09-16
Length this week – 2:15:01

  • (0:01:00-0:10:09) But First
    • Turning 46
    • Agenda
    • Concorde
  • (0:10:47-0:39:38) Hurricanes
    • Irma in Florida
    • Irma in the Islands
    • Harvey and Irma vs Katrina
    • Weathering the storm
    • Nursing Home deaths
  • (0:40:24-1:14:20) Independant Trump
    • Making Deals
    • Schadenfreude
    • Transactional Trump
    • Is Trump Republican?
    • Democrats too happy?
    • Will this turn the R’s?
    • He told you!
    • Equifax Tidbit
  • (1:15:00-1:34:35) Healthcare
    • Bernie Plan
    • Graham-Cassidy
    • Fixing ACA?
    • Give Trump a win?
  • (1:35:15-2:14:40) Apple Stuff
    • Apple Watch
    • AppleTV
    • iPhone 8
    • iPhone X
    • Work Phone

 

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.

16801.141 Days

As of the moment this is scheduled to post, at 0:21 UTC on the 16th (5:21 PM Pacific, 8:21 PM Eastern on the 15th) I was exactly 46 years old. This is of course properly taking into account leap years, the fact years are not even numbers of days, time zones, and the time and place I was born…  So I am now 46, although it will be a few hours until most others will admit it.

When I sat down to calculate this date and time, I was actually surprised, because I honestly had thought I was already 46 and was about to turn 47. It is easy to lose track of these things. So I got back an extra year! Yay!

Amy is TWENTY ONE!!!

photo-oct-20-03-51-16

Amy and Brandy are in Las Vegas to celebrate her 21st birthday. In the picture above, Amy reacts to dirt in one of Alex’s “Let’s Plant” videos that isn’t published yet. 

As of 07:33 UTC today (12:33 AM Pacific, 3:33 AM Eastern) Amy is officially 21 years old once you take into account leap years, the fact that years aren’t an even number of days, etc. I’m just that kind of geek.

In any case, Happy Birthday Amy! Enjoy your birthday vacation. Sorry Alex and I couldn’t share more of it! But you’ll have more fun without us. :-)

Can’t believe Amy is an ADULT. Crazy. Just crazy.

16435.899 Days


I missed the exact moment this year, cause busy and thinking of other things. But just under two hours ago at 18:32 UTC (11:32 AM Pacific, 2:32 PM Eastern) I was exactly 45 years old. Just looking at the date, you would think my birthday is tomorrow. But properly taking into account leap years, the fact years are not even numbers of days, time zones, and the time and place I was born…  the actual time has passed. I am 45 now.

Yay! Age!

Amy is TWENTY!!!

IMG_1319

We no longer have a teenager! How amazing is that?

According to my calculations, which take into account time zones, the fact that a year isn’t an even number of days, leap years, and all that fun stuff, at the moment this posts…  2015-10-21 01:44 UTC (6:44 PM on the 20th Pacific, 9:44 PM on the 20th Eastern) Amy will be exactly 20 years old. TWENTY!

<Insert bad joke about paying rent here.>

Happy birthday Amy! It is an honor to have you as my daughter. Love you!

16070.657 Days

As of the moment this posts at 12:43 UTC on the 16th (5:43 AM Pacific, 8:43 AM Eastern) I will be officially exactly 44 years old, including the complications of leap years and time zones and everything.

The years go by quickly these days I guess. Anyway, yay?

Alex is SIX!!

At the moment this posts…  2015-09-13 03:31 UTC (the 12th at 8:31 PM Pacific, 11:31 PM Eastern)… Alex will be exactly 6 years old accounting for leap years and time zones and all the rest.  So…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!!!

As I have done on previous birthdays, here is a quick interview with Alex about turning six… well, almost 12 minutes. So maybe not so quick. I thought about editing it down to five minutes or something, but I was too lazy to take the time.

As usual, I suspect only close family will watch the whole thing. :-)

And now for my usual rundown of things that are different from the last one of these posts (which this time was from when he turned 5).

  • First, to get it out of the way, this summer Alex was diagnnosed on the autism spectrum. In his particular case the parts of this that actually affect anything that requires attention manifest as social anxiety, with some selective mutism. To put it simply, he is very outgoing and self-directed and talks constantly at home or with people he knows very well, but he shuts down quickly in unfamiliar situations, and takes a very long time to become comfortable in those new situations, especially if he is required to interact with lots of people. He is working with a councilor on techniques to make things easier on him, but new people and places are still pretty stressful for him, which sometimes results in him acting out in one way or another, refusing to speak at all, making animal noises instead of speaking, or just plan hiding. That kind of thing.
  • The one other aspect that is actually problematic is that he can be very inflexible with rules he makes for himself. Normally, this is not a problem… this, uh, describes me quite well too…  but one particular rule is one we are working hard to get him to change his mind on. In December, after years of it not being a problem at all, he decided that if he were ever to use any bathroom other than the downstairs bathroom in our house, that would make Daddy die, so therefore no matter what, he would never do that. Which means if he doesn’t come home to “check his trains” at least once every six hours or so he is very uncomfortable, and if it goes past eight or so, we’re in deeper trouble. We really want this particular rule to go away. Not really concerned about any others at the moment. :-)
  • This year Alex lost his dog. He had never known life without a dog. Dog was his first word. Roscoe was his constant companion. It was very sad, and a big deal for a five year old. He mostly tried to be matter of fact about it, but it was clear there was a big hole in his life, and questions and concerns about life and death became a common theme for many months.
  • This year Alex also got a new dog. As of his birthday today, Miley has been with us exactly a week. We have yet to see how everything will work out in the long run, but Alex was very very excited to get the new dog. Perhaps a little too excited, as can be seen in the interview, but we are working on that. By being so submissive to him Miley isn’t really helping to discourage Alex’s excesses though.
  • The once unimaginable has happened. While trains are still a frequent toy, and train games are still played, the train obsession appears to be over. From about age 1.5 to age 4.5, trains were the be all and end all of everything.  Since then they have been slowly fading. Not going away, but fading. He will always have a soft spot for trains I think (and maybe hope a little) but they are now just one of many things, not the center of everything.
  • But, there is a new central obsession, and for almost a year it has been Minecraft. Minecraft wasn’t even mentioned in last year’s birthday post. He started playing soon after, and was instantly hooked. First all creative mode. Then all survival mode for awhile. Now one or the other depending on what he is planning to do and who is going to be playing with him. Minecraft is a family activity, and all of us play with him, sometimes all of us at once, in the same world, cooperating to build things. As each month goes by, his creations have gotten more complex and more creative. He now routinely builds very large complex fully decorated structures. He plans out what he is going to do, builds a outline or scaffolding, then fills in the rest of the structure as needed. Often he acts as the central coordinator, determining the overall plan, then dividing up the necessary tasks between each of the family members he can get to join him. He’s got many Minecraft worlds he is cultivating over time on each and every one of our devices, many of which have now slowly developed over the course of the whole year. Recently, when opening one world, he said “This was one of my very first worlds, see, look, I didn’t know how to do anything yet, everything I built here is RUBBISH! RUBBISH I tell you!”
  • He started riding his actual bike! Sometimes. Occasionally. It still has training wheels on it, and he still PREFERS his push bike (which he calls his “tool bike”), but he has spent time riding his bike around the neighborhood with me. He could probably actually already ride without the training wheels, it is just a confidence thing. He likes what he is already secure with. Thus still prefering the push bike. We’ll probably start raising the training wheels soon…
  • He no longer has a single favorite movie or TV show. He watches a wide variety of different shows, and lots of different kinds of videos on YouTube too. Not much train stuff any more. But lots of Minecraft related stuff. And other “let’s play” kinds of game videos. But other things too. For TV he still primarily like shows that are in some way based on vehicles, but there are a few that are not.
  • For many months he talked about how he wanted to go camping. Eventually, we bought a cheap tent and went camping…  in the yard. He loved it, and he and I ended up sleeping in the tent four or five nights. I asked if that meant he was ready to go camping in the actual woods or something.  He said, no, in the yard was what he had meant all along, and that is the only place he wants to camp. :-)
  • He sneaks into presents. Knowing that one of the Amazon boxes was a present, despite multiple warnings not to open it, he just couldn’t resist. He opened it just enough to peek. He almost lost the present because of it, but he earned it back later, so it was still one of the presents under his Birthday Tree.  (Yes, birthday tree, we did a birthday tree to put the presents under. :-)

As usual, I’m sure there is much more, but that is what I could remember off the top of my head just now. I’m sure it is more than enough for most folks reading this. :-)

[Edit 14:42 UTC to remove an extraneous space.]

[Edit 2016-09-12 07:46 UTC to fix a typo found a year later… “w” -> “few”.]