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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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Acceptable to the Leg

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan do an all lightning round show. Twelve separate exciting subjects. These include… the newest Brexit developments, the Trump vs Acosta ruckus, the resistance to Pelosi as speaker, Trump’s eventful visit to Europe, a book review by Sam, the Lion Air crash… and six more things. You didn’t think they would all be in the summary did you? But they are all exciting. Really.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-11-17
Length this week – 2:02:38

  • (0:00:20-0:40:40) Lightning #1
    • Ivan: Border Troops
    • Sam: Book: Hands-On Data Science and Python Machine Learning (2017)
    • Ivan: Trump in Europe
    • Sam: Heading to DC
  • (0:42:40-1:19:55) Lightning #2
    • Ivan: Assange
    • Sam: Puppy?
    • Ivan: Lion Air
    • Sam: Pelosi
  • (1:20:30-2:02:18) Lightning #3
    • Ivan: Brexit
    • Sam: Brazil
    • Ivan: Acosta
    • Sam: Avenatti

 

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: An Appointment in the Future

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Ivan and Sam’s two big topics are the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh including all the surrounding issues relating to the climate that leads to such things, and their final pre-election thoughts on the 2018 midterms. But as usual, there are smaller topics to round things out, including thoughts on a movie, a book, a new iPhone, the economy, and even Gary Hart. Also, after you listen… go vote!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-11-03
Length this week – 2:06:38

  • (0:01:38-0:32:18) But First
    • Agenda
    • Local candidates, amendments and initiatives
    • Sam Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)
    • Sam Book: Arrow of God (1964)
    • Mistake from last year
    • Sam’s new iPhone XS Max
  • (0:34:18-1:04:24) Pittsburgh and Trump
    • Sam and Ivan Pittsburgh connections
    • Long term trends
    • Synagogue security
    • anti-Semitic motives
    • Presidential responsibility and response?
    • Trump and racists
  • (1:05:09-1:45:53) Election 2018
    • Current Numbers
    • Early voting
    • Polling errors
    • Reactions if the Democrats win
    • Reactions if the Republicans win
    • Go vote… Democrat please.
  • (1:47:09-2:06:17) Mini Lightning Round
    • Ivan: Economy update
    • Sam: Gary Hart’s Monkey Business
    • Go vote. Really.

 

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: Surprise vs Shock

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan talk MAGAbomber, the caravan, and Election 2018. But not before some shorter notes on credit cards, books, and movies. Enjoy!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-10-27
Length this week – 2:00:06

  • (0:00:30-0:31:19) But First
    • Agenda
    • Cutting Cards
    • Sam Book: A Study in Scarlet (1887)
    • Sam Movie: North by Northwest (1959)
    • Ivan Movie: Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
    • Correction
  • (0:31:55-0:54:15) MAGAbomber
    • Background
    • False flag?
    • Intent to murder? Or just scare?
    • Equivalencies and responses
    • Motivations and responsibility
    • Stupid bomber
  • (0:54:54-1:27:16) Caravan
    • Paid for by Dems?
    • Fear and Lies vs reality
    • Racism against immigrants
    • Melting pot
    • Port-truth persuasion
    • Root causes
  • (1:28:32-1:59:45) Election 2018
    • Odds summary
    • Prognostications
    • Turnout and enthusiasm
    • Lies as campaign strategy
    • Dem strategy
    • Normalization

 

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: Intentional Set

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Ed joins Sam to talk about the many forms of disinformation, a congressional debate Ed attended, and they revisit the healthcare debate. Before that though, a welcome to a new patron, a movie review, a couple book reviews, and more!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-10-20
Length this week – 2:07:05

  • (0:00:20-0:42:39) But First
    • Agenda
    • New patron
    • New review
    • Sam Movie: A Shot in the Dark (1964)
    • Sam Book: The Brethren (1979)
    • Ed Book: One Person, No Vote (2018)
  • (0:43:55-1:13:41) Disinformation
    • The new election meddling arrest
    • Trump strategy of provocation
    • Everybody doing it
    • Saudi Arabia and Turkey
    • Different types of attacks
    • Example WaPo error
    • Careful vs sloppy vs intention deceit
  • (1:18:45-1:45:44) A Congressional Debate
    • Pennsylvania District 1 profile
    • The candidates in PA-1
    • In person experience
    • Local vs national issues
    • Trump influence on debate?
    • Wallace energy plan
    • Nothing on voting rights
  • (1:46:24-2:06:44) Healthcare
    • Costs for Medicare for All
    • Gradualism
    • Impact on individuals
    • Types of costs and savings
    • Other countries
    • Mitch McConnell

 

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: The Big Difference

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s main topic is of course the Kavanaugh hearings. They cover the new allegations and other developments that came up before the hearings, Dr. Ford’s testimony, Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony, and Senator Flake blowing everything up to end the week. Before all that though, they talk about Sam’s phone usage, Sam reviews a couple movies, and Ivan read a book!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-09-29
Length this week – 2:09:27

  • (0:02:41-0:37:47) But First
    • Yawning again
    • Agenda
    • Sam’s Screen Time
    • Spanish Ninjago
    • Ivan Book: Twelve Years of Turbulence (2018)
    • Sam Movie: The Sandlot (1993)
    • Sam Movie: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  • (0:38:23-1:00:53) Before the Hearings
    • New allegations
    • Judge and other witnesses
    • The “mistaken identity” accusation
    • The calendar
    • Hearing negotiations
    • The Fox interview
  • (1:01:37-1:16:03) Dr. Ford’s Testimony
    • The opening statement
    • Mitchell’s questioning
    • Reactions at midday
    • Was Mitchell a mistake?
  • (1:17:18-1:39:44) Judge Kavanaugh’s Testimony
    • The opening statement
    • Mitchell’s questioning
    • Ranting Republicans
    • Democratic focus on FBI Investigation
    • Unnecessary lies
    • At the end of the day
  • (1:40:24-2:09:06) Flakey Friday
    • The elevator
    • The Senator Coons connection
    • The Flake delay
    • FBI Investigation
    • What else happens in a week?
    • Flake saving the Republicans from themselves?
    • More to the deal?
    • Do they have the votes?
    • Who do we believe?
    • What does Avenatti have?

 

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: Through the Yawn

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s main topic is of course Judge Kavanaugh vs Dr. Ford and everything surrounding that controversy. In addition to that though, they cover new Apple stuff, a flashback to TV preacher scandals of the 80’s, thoughts on the 1961 movie West Side Story, the 2013 book The End of the Suburbs, and more…

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-09-21
Length this week – 1:42:23

  • (0:02:17-0:32:14) But First
    • No yawns
    • Jones, Swaggart, and Roberts
    • Agenda
    • Movie: West Side Story (1961)
    • Book: The End of the Suburbs (2013)
  • (0:35:13-1:19:23) Kavanaugh and Ford
    • Allegations
    • The “if he did, so what?” defense
    • The “why did she wait so long?” defense
    • Other examples
    • Time pressure
    • The politics
    • Predictions
  • (1:20:43-1:42:03) Mini Lightning
    • Ivan: Trump declassifications
    • Sam: New Apple Stuff

 

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: Magnet for Dumb Pipe Thieves

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s main topics are Election 2018, Alex Jones getting kicked off various platforms, and all the corruption in and surrounding the Trump administration. Before all that, a few bits on kid accounts for online services, a book and a movie Sam watched, and some adventures with cars.

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-08-09
Length this week – 2:00:40

  • (0:00:15-0:31:02) But First
    • Agenda
    • The real Importance of the Corn Palace
    • Kid accounts for online services
    • Book: The Eyre Affair (2001)
    • Movie: Space Jam (1996)
    • Ivan’s car alarm rescue
    • Leaving keys in the car
  • (0:32:17-1:05:47) Election 2018
    • OH-12 Special Election
    • People mad at Greens
    • Primary results
    • Democratic wave?
    • State races
    • Trump effect
    • Sam votes
  • (1:06:56-1:30:02) Jones Removals
    • Platform or media?
    • Does presence of alternatives matter?
    • Private company rights
    • Human judgement and standards
    • Slippery slopes
    • Governmental vs corporate censorship
  • (1:30:46-2:00:20) Corruption
    • Wilber Ross grifting
    • VA run out of Mar-a-Lago
    • Trump Cabinet
    • Trump and family
    • Grassroots grifting
    • Manafort

 

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: Tic for Tac

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan start out talking about getting vaccinations for travel, and how the crazy news of the last two years has resulted in Sam reading fewer books, and what he will do about it. But quickly enough, the conversation gravitates where it almost always does these days. Trump! First they try to stay focused very specifically on policy issues. Trump on Syria. Trump on tariffs. Trump on Mexico. Things like that. But for the last segment, they do once again concentrate on Trump’s various scandals. The Mueller investigation. Stormy and McDougal. Pruitt. Sorry, it just can’t be avoided!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2018-04-06
Length this week – 1:43:54

  • (0:01:00-0:19:41) Travel Vaccinations / Not Enough Books
  • (0:21:23-1:05:50) Stupid Trump Policy Stuff
  • (1:06:29-1:43:34) Stupid Trump Scandal Stuff

 

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.

I’m not reading enough. I blame Trump. And Twitter.

I’ve been thinking lately about how I have not been reading nearly enough books lately. This is a problem.

I’ve been tracking the books I read since 2006. The graph above quantifies it. Although I was bad in 2007-2009 too, I’d been keeping up a decent pace of reading from 2010-2015.

A decent pace for me anyway. My average in those years was 13.5 books per year. I know a lot of people read much more than that… and I even read more than that myself when I was much younger… but I think I’m OK with anything above 12 per year at the moment. One per month.

In 2016 I fell off a cliff though. I only finished FIVE books. In 2017 it was even worse. Only THREE.

I semi-joke that I blame Trump and Twitter, but there actually is quite a bit of truth to it. Starting with the 2016 election year, and going forward into the Trump administration, it has felt like if you turned away for even a few moments, you would miss something important happening. So all those spare moments that I previously might have spent reading a book (or even listening to an audio book), instead were spent on Twitter, listening to live news, listening to news related podcasts, or whatever.

The key being it had to be real time or near real time. Reading tweets from a few minutes ago? Of course! Reading an article that was written earlier today? OK, fine. Reading an article that was written yesterday…  MAYBE, if it was a really important one, but you’re stretching it. That is way too far out of date! A magazine article from a week ago? Don’t make me laugh! A book written years ago? Doing that felt like every moment spent on that was a moment I was disengaged and out of the stream of what was happening. What did I miss in the time it took to read that chapter? That was just painful.

All of that is of course silly. Nothing bad will happen if I disengage with the news for a few minutes to read a book. Frankly, if anything really big happens, I’ll get an alert anyway. But even if I didn’t, it isn’t like I have to DO anything with that news in real time. I’m not going to be the one making big decisions in reaction to that news. I’ll talk about it on my podcast maybe, but that is a weekly thing. Maybe I’ll want to tweet, or even though I haven’t done it much in recent years, write a blog post. But all that can wait. And is frankly optional anyway.

I can take 20 minutes (or more!) at the end of the day before bed or pull up my Kindle app sometimes on my phone instead of Tweetbot when I have spare moments here or there. I can listen to an audio book on my commute home instead of a news related podcast or live news channel stream! I can! I really can!

So a few days ago I made a resolution. Lets call it an April Fool’s resolution even though it wasn’t quite on April 1st. I decided that for 2018 I’ll make a conscious effort to do a bit more book reading than I have in the last two years. Maybe I won’t exceed the 17 books finished that I hit in 2011 and 2014, but maybe I can at least beat my average over the last decade of 9.9 books per year by finishing at least 10. Maybe I can even manage a one book per month average!

I’ve finished only 1 so far this year, so I’ve got to get to it. In the last week I’ve probably already read more and listened to more audio book content than I had in the previous three months, so I guess I’m off to a decent start…

I’m way down on watching TV shows and movies too, but dealing with that can wait for another day, or maybe that is just fine…

The last “book” post I did was the list of all the books I finished in 2011. To catch up, here is a list of all the books I finished from 2012 to 2017. I used to do little mini-reviews of each book as I went along, but no time for that, so just a list… I’ll report back on 2018 once it is over to see how I did.

2012 (3 Physical, 8 Kindle, 0 Audible = 11 total)

  1. 2012-02-10, Fiction, Kindle, We the Living by Rand
  2. 2012-03-16, Non-Fiction, Physical, Beautiful Evidence by Tufte
  3. 2012-03-18, Fiction, Kindle, 2nd Chance by Patterson
  4. 2012-05-09, Non-Fiction, Physical, Alex and Me by Pepperberg
  5. 2012-05-28, Fiction, Kindle, Heavy Planet by Clement
  6. 2012-06-10, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Lies and Outliers by Schneier
  7. 2012-06-22, Fiction, Kindle, Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Weis and Hickman
  8. 2012-07-14, Non-Fiction, Kindle, The President’s Club by Gibbs and Duffy
  9. 2012-09-02, Fiction, Kindle, Roots by Haley
  10. 2012-10-01, Non-Fiction, Physical, The 4-Dimensional Manager by Straw
  11. 2012-10-07, Fiction, Kindle, Containment by Cantrell

2013 (1 Physical, 8 Kindle, 0 Audible = 9 total)

  1. 2013-01-13, Non-Fiction, Kindle, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Morris
  2. 2013-01-16, Fiction, Kindle, The Wandering Falcon by Ahmad
  3. 2013-02-06, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Kanban by Anderson
  4. 2013-03-02, Fiction, Kindle, A Time to Kill by Grisham
  5. 2013-05-20, Non-Fiction, Physical, Steve Jobs by Isaacson
  6. 2013-05-27, Fiction, Kindle, A Drink Before the War by Lehane
  7. 2013-10-04, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Bayesian Data Analysis by Gelman, Carlin, Stern, and Rubin
  8. 2013-10-19, Fiction, Kindle, Things Fall Apart by Achebe
  9. 2013-11-24, Non-Fiction, Kindle, You Are Not So Smart by McRaney

2014 (2 Physical, 7 Kindle, 8 Audible = 17 total)

  1. 2014-01-28, Fiction, Physical, The Last Town on Earth by Mullen
  2. 2014-05-21, Non-Fiction, Audible, Fear Itself by Katznelson
  3. 2014-06-20, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Making Things Happen by Berkun
  4. 2014-07-05, Fiction, Kindle, A Spark of Death by Pajer
  5. 2014-07-09, Non-Fiction, Physical, Change the Way You See Everything by Cramer and Wasiak
  6. 2014-07-16, Fiction, Audible, 11/22/63 by King
  7. 2014-08-04, Non-Fiction, Audible, Hidden America by Laskas
  8. 2014-08-18, Fiction, Audible, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Sloan
  9. 2014-09-02, Fiction, Kindle, The People of the Ruins by Shanks
  10. 2014-10-01, Non-Fiction, Audible, The Fabric of the Cosmos by Greene
  11. 2014-11-11, Fiction, Audible, The Many-Colored Land by May
  12. 2014-11-26, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Head First Java by Sierra and Bates
  13. 2014-11-26, Non-Fiction, Audible, My Beloved World by Sotomayor
  14. 2014-11-27, Fiction, Audible, Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Sloan
  15. 2014-11-29, Fiction, Kindle, Shadows in Flight by Card
  16. 2014-12-15, Non-Fiction, Kindle, The Final Days by Woodward and Bernstein
  17. 2014-12-18, Fiction, Kindle, The Ice Dragon by Martin

2015 (1 Physical, 1 Kindle, 13 Audible = 15 total)

  1. 2015-01-09, Non-Fiction, Audible, Reckless Engagement by Morgenson and Rosner
  2. 2015-01-20, Fiction, Audible, No Longer at Ease by Achebe
  3. 2015-02-12, Non-Fiction, Audible, American Emperor by Stewart
  4. 2015-03-02, Fiction, Audible, Darkness Take My Hand by Lehane
  5. 2015-03-27, Non-Fiction, Audible, Writing on the Wall by Standage
  6. 2015-04-09, Non-Fiction, Physical, The Online Advertising Playbook by Plummer, Rappaport, Hall, and Barocci
  7. 2015-04-17, Fiction, Audible, Earth Unaware by Card and Johnston
  8. 2015-05-15, Non-Fiction, Audible, The Selfish Gene by Dawkins
  9. 2015-05-18, Fiction, Kindle, Storm Front by Butcher
  10. 2015-05-22, Fiction, Audible, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Adams
  11. 2015-07-31, Non-Fiction, Audible, Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 1 by Twain
  12. 2015-09-01, Fiction, Audible, The Scarlatti Inheritance by Ludlum
  13. 2015-10-05, Non-Fiction, Audible, The Son Also Rises by Clark
  14. 2015-10-13, Fiction, Audible, The Scarlet Plague by London
  15. 2015-12-23, Non-Fiction, Audible, Conversations with Myself by Mandela

2016 (0 Physical, 2 Kindle, 3 Audible = 5 total)

  1. 2016-01-20, Fiction, Audible, Prince Caspian by Lewis
  2. 2016-05-28, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Dutch by Morris
  3. 2016-07-02, Fiction, Kindle, Earth Afire by Card and Johnson
  4. 2016-11-15, Non-Fiction, Audible, Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 2 by Twain
  5. 2016-11-29, Fiction, Audible, 2001 by Clarke

2017 (0 Physical, 1 Kindle, 2 Audible = 3 total)

  1. 2017-03-08, Non-Fiction, Audible, Stiff by Roach
  2. 2017-04-08, Fiction, Audible, With the Night Mail by Kipling
  3. 2017-05-30, Non-Fiction, Kindle, Spam by Brunton

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Sitting on my Porch

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan’s main topics are the debate on Donald Trump’s “legitimacy”, the fun of the final week of the transition, and the Chelsea Manning commutation. In addition though, they discuss reviving old computers, the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, Joe Biden, an odd Presidential succession edge case, and more!

Click below to listen and subscribe!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-01-19
Length this week – 1:57:57

  • (0:00:10-0:20:34) But First
    • 2017
    • Agenda
    • Reviving old computers
  • (0:21:13-0:45:08) Legitimacy
    • Trump “legitimate”?
    • Comey, Dirty Tricks, Fairness
    • Voters made their choice
    • Unfollowing Trump?
    • Skipping the Inauguration?
    • Anti-Trump Protests
  • (0:45:56-1:04:56) Transition
    • Cabinet not talking to Trump
    • Cabinet incompetence
    • Cabinet Hodgepodge
    • Unstaffed positions
    • Normal policy disputes vs Crazy/Unqualified
  • (1:05:41-1:25:11) Manning
    • Why this release date?
    • Manning vs Snowden
    • Consistency on leaks?
  • (1:25:50-1:56:37) Lightning Round
    • Wet Foot Dry Foot
    • Book: 2001 (1968)
    • Old Postcard from Sam
    • Movie: Rogue One (2016)
    • Biden for President
    • Succession Edge Cases

 

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.