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



June 2024

Curmudgeon’s Corner: You can do that?

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s biggest topic is of course Russia Russia Russia, as we discuss all of this last week’s hubbub about Russian interference with the election, and everybody’s responses to that. But we also take one last look at the Electoral College before they vote, and do a segment on Apple products. Rounding it out, we cover being sick, taking parents or kids to work, the drama over the North Carolina governorship, Ivanka as First Lady, and more…

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!



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Show Details:

Recorded 2016-12-17
Length this week – 2:25:37

  • (0:00:10-0:17:15) But First
    • Agenda
    • Everybody sick
    • The unknown friend
    • Bring parents/children to work days
    • Sick kids at school
    • Salt rooms
  • (0:18:00-1:03:59) Russia Russia Russia
    • Didn’t we know this?
    • Intentional misdirection?
    • Was it decisive? Does it matter?
    • Clinton team blaming everything but themselves
    • Obama’s response
    • Tillerson Nomination
    • Hacking vs Disinformation/Propaganda
    • Republican response
    • Retaliation?
    • Snowden Comparison
    • Trump denial/connection?]
  • (1:04:38-1:29:35) Electoral College
    • Hamilton Electors
    • How many will be faithless?
    • Who will they vote for?
    • Record number of faithless electors?
    • House scenarios
    • State binding laws
  • (1:30:44-1:53:57) Apple Stuff
    • New TV app
    • MacBook Pro battery
    • Ivan’s iPad Pro
    • iPhone 6s batteries
    • Apple News
    • AllSides
  • (1:54:37-2:25:17) Lightning Round
    • North Carolina Governor drama
    • Some more Trump appointments
    • Facebook fake news effort
    • Sam and Brandy donations
    • Ivanka as First Lady
    • Trump can’t divest?
    • China goading Trump?
    • Trump Tower visitors
    • Future of Obamacare


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: Lets Get this Sucker Started!

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:
* The Middle-East
* Children and Guns
* 2018 Mindset List
* Reclining Seats

Recorded on 28 Aug 2014

Length this week – 1:29:27

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Full Circle

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Jon talk about:

  • Escaped Child / Free Range Kids
  • Eric Cantor / Republicans
  • Apple Stuff

Recorded on 12 Jun 2014

Length this week – 1:25:20

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: You Can Control the World by Blinking

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam talks about:

  • Parenthood
  • Curiosity Landing
  • Election 2012
  • More Election 2012 / Mountain Lion

Recorded on 6 Aug 2012

Length this week – 1:13:30

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Curmudgeon’s Corner: The Mallcop Thing

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner… 

Sam, Ivan and Reb talk about:

  • A Kid Online
  • LulzSec
  • Debt Talks
  • Energy Efficiency

Just click to listen now:

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Recorded 26 Jun 2011″]


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9 Ways to Bring Out the Best in You and Your Child

Author: Maggie Reigh
Original Publication: 2004
Started: 2010 Nov 8
Finished : 2010 Nov 23
Format: Paperback
239 pages / 16 days
14.9 pages / day

This book was a gift. The inscription on the inside of the cover says:

“With love to Sam – Hope something here is helpful :-) – Mother – 2007”

So this was from my mom, but at a time well before Alex, so we were talking at the time about parenting a 11 or 12 year old Amy , depending on if this was a Birthday gift or a Christmas gift. But see, I do eventually get to reading books I am given as a gift… even though it may take a few years.

I am generally very suspicious of these sorts of books that tell you how to be a better whatever, be it a better parent or a better manager, or just a better person. It isn’t that they can’t hold nuggets of truth, but rather that many of these things either just come naturally or they don’t, and I am dubious of learning such things from instruction rather than from experience. Having said that, there is always the bonus of actually learning from other people’s experience rather than repeating their mistakes, and I must admit I did end up noting a few things in here where I thought “Yeah, I could do better at that.”

Now, most of the advice, the “9 Ways” are things that might get a “Well duh” reaction from anyone who did not come from a background where the old fashioned disciplinarian “kids will speak when spoken to and do what they are told” sort of style was the norm. At least in the circles I have traveled that sort of thing has been quite rate. To some degree this book comes down to “don’t do that” and instead treat your kids with respect and as people.

To be specific, the 9 “Ways” are:

  1. The Way of Mutual Respect (Understanding and Respecting Boundaries)
  2. The Way of Vision (Have an idea of how you would like things to be and evaluate things on if they help get closer to that.)
  3. The Way of Mutual Empowerment (Turn judgement to curiosity, empower your child to decide things on their own as soon as they are ready and want to.)
  4. The Way of Emotional Grounding (Staying centered and enabling the draining of frustrations… both yours and the child)
  5. The Way of Communications (Talk and communicate meaningfully. Listen.)
  6. The Way of Encouragement (Encourage, be specific, look for the good in things rather than obsessing on flaws)
  7. The Way of Living Harmoniously with Others (Don’t resolve kid’s arguments, teach them how to resolve them)
  8. The Way of Loving Discipline (Not punishment, self-control. Help find root causes of misbehavior to find solution.)
  9. The Way of Parenting with Spirit (Some sort of nonsense about inner lights)

Anyway, as you can see from those titles, there is a lot of fru-fru gobbledegook pop-psychology in here in terms of the terms used to describe various things. And some of the anecdotes also seem like the idealized “yeah, no real person would react quite like that” sort of thing. But they do serve to illustrate the basic principles though. I’ve tried to distill the actual meaningful essence in my parenthetical comments. And I do think once you boil out all the fluff here, the general principles are good ones.

As I mentioned earlier, there were definitely a variety of places where when reading I thought of various interactions I’ve had with Amy (not so much Alex yet) where I could have taken a better path if I’d followed some of the advice in here. In most cases, actually obvious in retrospect, but where in the moment as things happen, perhaps thoughts aren’t as clear. The value of a book like this, as I said, unless you are coming from a strict child-rearing starting place, which I am not, is not so much telling you anything you don’t already know… you know this stuff instinctually… rather it is that it makes you take the time to think about it a bit and raise it to something you are consciously aware of , and therefore perhaps you will be better able to step back and approach things in more healthy ways in situations where perhaps before you might just react and then think “oops, I could have handled that better” after the fact.

Or not. Even when you know a better way, sometimes the moment wins. But it is good to just explicitly think about some of this stuff sometimes.

Wow, oops. I can’t believe I’ve been mostly positive about this book. I *am* skeptical about this kind of book. And a good portion of this book WAS fluff and such, and the last chapter really did start taking a sharp right turn into LaLa Land, but if you pick through all that stuff, the core bits are indeed valuable to spend some time thinking about.