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



July 2024

Halloween 2019 Timelapse

Stats for this year:

  • The first trick or treaters showed up at 00:50 UTC (5:50 PM Pacific). That is 3 minutes later than last year.
  • The peak 20 minute period was 01:20 to 01:40 UTC (6:20 to 6:40 PM Pacific) with 29 people. Last year the peak was a full 40 minutes later in the evening, with 41 people.
  • The last trick or treater left at 03:35 UTC (7:35 PM Pacific). This was a full hour and two minutes earlier than the last trick or treater last year! (But it was later than two years ago.)
  • We had a total of 125 visitors, down from 143 in each of the two previous years. No idea why the numbers were down so much. We had better weather this year!

I, of course, produced a histogram of the visits:

Besides the earlier and lower peak time, you can see a couple of prominent. secondary peaks later in the evening. It is interesting just how different the distributions have been in the three years I have done this.

Now, as an extra bonus, the timelapse that includes us setting up the decorations, which for once this year we did enough ahead of time that it was on the previous day’s timelapse.

Oh… and Alex’s tour of the decorations!

Halloween 2018 Timelapse

We spent most of the evening thinking the trick or treat volume had been much less than last year. But we were WRONG. As it turns out, when I counted on the timelapse, we had 143 visitors last year, and… exactly 143 visitors this year too. How they were distributed through the night was a little different though, and made it SEEM like fewer people. Now, Amy points out that this year we had more repeat visitors, people coming back for seconds or thirds, but I figure if they come twice, they count twice. (And I counted the same way last year.) So whatever. As far I’m concerned, we had 143 both years. :-)

The timelapse includes us setting up, all the trick or treating, and then the dragon flapping its wings for a bit until it started to rain, water got into the power strip we were using, the breaker tripped, and the dragon deflated. Good stuff!

Anyway some stats:

  • This year the first trick or treaters showed up at 0:47 UTC (5:47 PM Pacific)… that is 14 minutes earlier than last year.
  • The peak 20 minute period was 02:00 UTC to 02:20 UTC (7:00 PM to 7:20 PM Pacific) with 41 people. Last year the peak was 20 minutes earlier with 35 people.
  • The last trick or treaters came at 4:37 UTC (9:37 PM Pacific)… An hour and 27 minutes later than the last person last year.

And a histogram comparing 2017 and 2018:

I think the perception of there being fewer people this year was because we had more people before it got dark, and last year we had an hour long plateau where it stayed continuously very busy, where this year we had a sharper peak, and then a more rapid drop off, so it started feeling slow again earlier in the evening with a long tail with more people arriving even after we’d wrapped things up and gone inside, leaving our table with candy for the stragglers.

Anyway, we had fun. It was our first year with dragons in the driveway. Only one is visible in the timelapse. Here they are both:


Halloween 2017 Timelapse

Although I’ve missed a few, most years lately I’ve tried to do a timelapse of the trick-or-treat hours at my house. Here is this year’s. I think it came out pretty well this time!

Some facts:

  • The first trick treaters arrived at 1:01 UTC (6:01 PM Pacific)
  • The peak 20 minute period was 1:40 UTC to 2:00 UTC (6:40 PM to 7:00 PM Pacific).
  • The last visitors came at 3:10 UTC (8:10 PM Pacific).
  • Total for the night was 143 people, including both kids and parents.

And here is the histogram of when people came based on analysis of the timelapse:

You can of course also see my family getting ready, going out ourselves, and cleaning up afterwards. Oh, and the 21 additional hours of November 1st (UTC) after all that was over.

And of course, all this is possible because finally, about a year since it stopped being fully functional and I didn’t have time to fix it because I was swamped with, the AbulCam is back and better than ever. I upgraded both the hardware and software behind it in the last few weeks to be ready for Halloween. So enjoy and check by any time. It will probably usually be mounted in my home office, but at the moment it is still pointed at our driveway. Over time I may move it to other interesting places depending on what I feel like. :-)

Fred Bear and Medusa


Alex was one of the Freddy variants from the Five Nights at Freddy’s series last night. Brandy made him a full costume, but he would only wear the head, and that was after much stress about it before he finally decided to head out with the head on.

He would wear the head in between houses, but always take it off when he got to a house, holding it in front of him upside down while Amy did the knocking on the door and saying “Trick or Treat”. People would put the candy in the head.

In between houses we got lots of people calling out “FREDDY!!” as we walked past.

It was a very rainy Halloween here, so we didn’t stay out too long, but it was a success overall. :-)

And Amy was Medusa.


Pics from Nov 2014

937 pictures for the month. First cut got it down to 50. Second cut got it to the required 1 per day 30 for the month of November.


2014-11-01 01:13 UTC – Remember I divide things based on Universal time, so in Seattle Trick or Treat is early on November 1st and that is how we start the month. For the second year running, Brandy made Alex a train as his costume. He also wore a conductor-like outfit.


2014-11-01 02:08 UTC – The train leaves the station with Grandma Ruth right behind.


2014-11-01 02:14 UTC (picture by Grandma Ruth) – At first, all the stops were like this. Alex insisting on hiding in the train while begging me to do the doorbell ringing to collect his candy.


2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – Later, after a bit of coaxing, we got him to actually go up and ring the bell.


2014-11-01 02:34 UTC – After which he would immediately turn and run. He would then hide in the train again.


2014-11-01 02:56 UTC (Picture by Grandma Ruth) – Eventually toward the end, he finally (reluctantly) did the whole thing himself a couple of times.


2014-11-01 03:57 UTC (picture by Brandy) – This was Amy’s first outfit for Freaknight.


2014-11-01 04:04 UTC – Trick or Treating over, Alex wants us to inspect some food he found.


2014-11-02 01:1? UTC (picture by Brandy) – Amy was going to be Chell (from Portal and Portal 2) for her second costume for Freaknight, but it was canceled for this evening. Amy was sad.


2014-11-02 01:14 UTC – Amy was not the only one in the family into Portal though, and Alex wanted a turn at the Portal Device.


2014-11-04 20:35 UTC – Alex was working hard in his workshop on new train layouts, but it wouldn’t do quite what he wanted, so he was getting very frustrated. Not much later, this particular layout was no more.


2014-11-07 00:54 UTC – I got a pic of a nice sunset in Lynnwood, WA.


2014-11-08 20:23 UTC – Roscoe wants to know why I am taking his picture.


2014-11-13 21:59 UTC – Alex had a trip to the dentist that required him to be asleep via anesthesia. This was right afterwards. He had roused enough that they were OK sending him home, but he was still basically asleep.


2014-11-13 22:19 UTC – Once he woke up his first request was McDonald’s. We had to tell him he wasn’t supposed to eat for another hour or so. He was very unhappy about this. He really wanted McDonald’s.


2014-11-15 21:52 UTC – A few days later though it was all forgotten. He wandered the aisles of a drug store choosing things he wanted, including the hat, glasses and brush, and asked to pose with his loot. (Which he did get to have.)


2014-11-17 22:42 UTC (Picture by Amy) – Um, then Amy totaled her car. Nobody was hurt except the car.


2014-11-17 22:?? UTC (Picture by Amy) – Amy was very sad though. Poor car.


2014-11-20 22:39 UTC (picture by Brandy) – Brandy got to go with Alex to a Thanksgiving thing at his school. Alex made faces while he ate.


2014-11-22 01:56 UTC – I’ve got Alex pumping gas for me.


2014-11-23 04:58 UTC – Alex decided that to be warm he needed to join me inside my sweater.


2014-11-23 18:37 UTC – Alex is starting to REALLY get into Lego. Usually it is vehicles of one sort or another, but this time he made this, which he said was “a dog in his yard”.


2014-11-27 03:16 UTC – And when he visits Grandma Ruth, he plays with MY old Lego from when I was a kid. You can also see the Mr. Potato Head that was modified to look like my High School Physics teacher Mr. Posa as part of a Rube Goldberg project my senior year of high school.


2014-11-28 01:45 UTC – Amy is not amused as I attempt to take pictures of her as we get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.


2014-11-28 01:50 UTC – A few minutes later, Alex elaborates on a story he wanted to tell before dinner.


2014-11-28 05:49 UTC – Later in the evening, food cleared away, Alex starts on some crafts.


2014-11-28 21:00 UTC – Pair of pants on head as a hat? Check! Second pair of pants in case you lose the first hat? Check! Blanket? Check! One of mommy’s purses? Check! Lets go on an adventure!


2014-11-29 16:26 UTC – Alex and Roscoe check out the first snowfall of the season.


2014-11-29 18:24 UTC – Daddy is just cold.


2014-11-29 18:36 UTC – There wasn’t that much snow, and it wasn’t very good for packing, but this was our pitiful attempt at a snowman. It was about 4 to 5 inches tall.

And thus ends November.

Trick or Treat 2014

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Vote for Sam!

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner Sam and Ivan talk about:
* Halloween / Marysville School Shooting
* Chickenshit Comment
* Apple Pay / Current C
* Election 2014

Recorded on 31 Oct 2014

Length this week – 1:06:36

1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
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View Raw XML Feed

Halloween Timelapse 2013

It is easier to see Amy decorating than any trick or treaters, although you can see them if you pay attention. And for some reason it went slowly on some parts with no visible action the next day, but hey, timelapse!

Casualty of the #windstorm


The power is out at our place. We left to find an electrified place to eat and work (and play).

Donaghy/Minter/Roney Halloween 2013

Alex had been insisting for weeks that he did NOT want to wear any costumes for Halloween, and he did NOT want to Trick or Treat. But we took his old Thomas costume from last year to school with him anyway, and right at the end of school, when I was picking him up, when a teacher asked he finally agreed to put on the costume, and was immediately happy with the positive comments he got.


But that was not the real event. When we got home, Alex went in to play with his trains, but Amy got to work decorating the house. (While I cleared away things that needed to be cleared away.) Amy made a little graveyard:


And I put out a handful of Halloweeny metal things:


And Amy finished up the porch:


But then was the main event…

On the 30th, when we were asking if he was sure he did not want to dress up, and if he was sure he would not want to trick or treat, Alex suddenly remembered something from many many months ago. It may have last been mentioned in the summer, but I’m pretty sure it originated last Halloween. Alex suddenly got very upset, because Mommy had said she would make a train out of his wagon, but she hadn’t done it.

So… that night, Brandy stayed up late with a bit of cardboard, tape, poster board and a utility light we had hanging around… and during the day picked up some appropriate clothes… and…


Alex had kept his reluctance to dress up or trick or treat until the first kids showed up at our door. Then he urgently wanted to get into the conductor’s outfit and get into his new train, and go out into the neighborhood. He was excited and thrilled.

Of course, he spent most of the time hunkered down and hiding a little:


The first few houses he absolutely refused to get out of the train. He had me ring the bells, then peeked out of the train when the people came out with candy. He got lots of complements on the train though, and eventually he worked up the courage to ring the bell himself.


After just a couple more houses though, and maybe a total of 20 minutes trick or treating, Alex was ready to go home. When we got there, it turned out Amy had added more light to our driveway to entice people in.

(Picture by Amy)

Amy had been giving out candy and glow sticks and rings that light up while dressed in her bunny suit:


Right about then, we suddenly had quite a line… more than you can see in this picture. Alex just wanted to sit in his train and watch them come and go.


I had forgotten to wear a costume up to this point, but this was a good time to grab one I’d found in the garage a few hours earlier. Alex fended me off with some of the candy he had acquired.

(Picture by Amy)

At some point Amy handed over candy distributer duties to Alex.


But he was getting chilly, so…


Alex would peek out when new people came by, while letting me distribute the goodies.

Meanwhile, he was in his train under the blanket gorging himself on candy.

It was a good Halloween.


Alex was very wired from all this of course. He was up for many hours. And very active. Finally, at about 1:30 AM, I got him to lie down with me in my office on his Thomas couch and watch a maneuver the Soyuz capsule was doing around the International Space station on NASA-TV. He likes learning about satellites and such, so he was enthralled… but 20 minutes or so of it finally did the trick…


Of course, then I stayed up to do this post. I need to be up in about four hours. Oops.

Hope everyone else had a good Halloween too! Goodnight! :-)