This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.




December 2018
« Nov    

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Covered in Butter

We’ve almost made it! Election 2016 is finally here. In this last episode before the actual votes are tallied, Sam and Ivan start out with some updates from the Republicans Sam interviewed in May and some feedback from a listener, then jump into the campaign events of the last week, before finally discussing faithless electors and final thoughts on what is likely to happen when the votes are counted. This is it folks. We’ve made it to the end. Almost.

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



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Show Details:

Recorded 2016-11-05
Length this week – 1:53:34

  • (0:00:10-0:46:14) Updates and Feedback
    • Agenda
    • Update from Matthew
    • Update from Bruce
    • Feedback from Lenny
  • (0:047:17-1:24:20) Election 2016 – The Last Week
    • Comey Letter
    • Illegal Melania / Trump Affair
    • Secret Trump Server? (No.)
    • Russia DNC Hack
    • Last minute Trump baiting?
    • Trump on Obama heckler
    • Trump rape case
  • (1:24:59-1:53:14) Election 2016 – The Election Itself
    • Faithless WA Elector
    • Polling Update
    • House and Senate
    • Ground Game, Early Vote, Hispanic Vote
    • Clinton beating the polls?


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: Exactly What It Appears To Be

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast Sam and Ivan talk about this week’s Election 2016 craziness… Trump in Mexico and Arizona, the FBI notes on Clinton, all of that stuff that you could possibly want. Before that though, they do a lightning round covering all sorts of other things… burkinis and Colombia, exploding phones and Anthony Weiner… and more. Oh, and they both want to sleep more. ZZZzzz…

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



 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
 View Raw Podcast Feed
Download MP3 File
Follow the podcast on Facebook
patreon-30x30 Support us on Patreon

Show Details:

Recorded 2016-09-03
Length this week – 1:51:53

  • (0:00:10-0:13:06) But First
    • Delays
    • Agenda
    • Only Human
    • Holidays and Trips
    • Sleep
    • Retirement
  • (0:13:44-0:47:31) Lightning Round
    • Burkini Ban
    • Being a Poll Worker
    • Columbian Peace Deal
    • Exploding Phones and their Batteries
    • Senate and House Elections
    • Anthony Weiner
    • Pokemon Go
    • Standing for the anthem
  • (0:49:30-1:15:27) Election 2016 – Everything Else
    • Dave Barry on Florida
    • FBI Notes on Clinton Investigation
    • Two Baby Boomers
    • Polling Update
  • (1:16:06-1:49:29) Election 2016 – Everything Trump
    • Trump in Mexico
    • Trump in Arizona
    • Trump ethnic outreach
    • Taco Trucks
    • Picture of Trump Kids
    • Debate Prep
    • Controlling Trump?


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: 2016 Predictions Show

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner we do our annual predictions show. Hear Sam and Ivan’s take on what to expect in 2016. We talk about the economy, tech, domestic issues, international issues and of course Election 2016, with a few random things thrown in for good measure. Do you agree with our predictions? Do you think we are crazy? Tune in and find out!

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

Recorded 2016-01-01

Length this week – 1:49:46

 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
 View Raw Podcast Feed
Download MP3 File
Follow the podcast on Facebook

Show Details:

  • (0:00:10-0:03:53) Intro
    • Ivan Sick
    • Predictions of the Past
    • Explanation
    • Year Confusion
  • (0:04:31-0:13:42) Economy
    • Corporate Profits
    • Oil Prices
    • Dow Jones
    • US Recession?
    • US Economic Growth
    • European Economy
    • Jobs
    • Housing Market
    • Bitcoin
  • (0:15:01-0:30:06) Tech
    • Breakout Products
    • Peak Apple?
    • Apple Car?
    • iOS va Android
    • Security Breaches
    • Autonomous Cars
    • Cable/Satellite TV vs Internet
  • (0:30:45-0:39:24) Domestic Issues
    • Guns
    • Police Violence
    • Racial Tensions
    • Abortion / Gay Marriage / Marijuana
    • Cosby
    • Healthcare
    • Domestic Terrorism
  • (0:40:27-0:50:23) International
    • Syria
    • ISIS
    • Israel/Palestine
    • Cuba
    • Iran
    • Russia
    • Alex Interlude
    • Ukraine
    • Iraq
    • Turkey
    • Venezuela
    • Other Countries
  • (0:51:02-1:40:08) Politics
    • House
    • Senate
    • Iowa
    • New Hampshire
    • South Carolina
    • Trump Collapse?
    • Super Tuesday
    • Contested Convention?
    • When will we have winners?
    • Nominees
    • Significant 3rd Party?
    • Who Wins the Presidency?
    • Election Margins
    • Big Uncertainty
  • (1:40:57-1:49:26) Hodgepodge
    • Olympics
    • Dead Pool
    • Broken Bones
    • Broken Devices
    • Weather
    • Mergers
    • International Terrorism
    • Your predictions?

Update on the Moving Thing…

  • The house we have rented for the last five years is officially on the market again (for rental).  See the lovely sign in the yard?  If anybody is thinking of moving to the Newport Hills area of Bellevue, WA, hey, house.
  • After some back and forth on the topic, we decided there were other things we’d rather spend a few thousand dollars on, so we’re doing things the old fashioned way again and renting a truck and moving ourselves.  This weekend.  So if anybody in the greater Seattle area wants to help move boxes and furniture, we will buy pizza!  (But we expect to do it all ourselves.)
  • Between now and then…  packing!
  • Roscoe came with us to the new house for the first time today.  We can’t let him loose in the back yard until we fix the latch on the gate, but he is getting to explore the new house for the first time, and we went on a short walk in the neighborhood.
  • Alex’s room is pretty much done.  Nice two color thing with with a border with cars and trucks and planes and such.
  • Brandy’s office is all painted.  Amy’s room is almost done being painted.
  • We’ve moved in a bunch of dishes and groceries and other essentials and have been spending a significant chunk of time here since we closed last week.
  • Internet (25/25 FIOS) will be installed sometime in the next 12 hours.
  • As I write this, Amy, Alex and Brandy are all asleep.  I will join them shortly.  This will be the first time we’ve actually stayed overnight here.  Of course, there are no beds here yet, so this is a strictly floor based endeavor.
  • We hope to basically be moved by Sunday night, although we’ll still be moving some stuff from the old house, and dealing with cleaning the old house and such probably straight through until the 30th, which is when we officially have to be out of there.

Double Time Shakycam House Tour

Taken about an hour after we got the keys to the place on Wednesday. There is now painting and such going on, so things are already different. The video is presented at double actual speed so that it only takes 5 minutes instead of ten, and so I sound like a mouse!

Home Owners Again

From the Escrow Manager:

Date: August 30, 2011 22:48:42 GMT

Please see recording numbers attached.

We are final and the transaction complete.

Thus, as of just under an hour ago, we are legally the proud owners of the house you see pictured above and described in an older post.  Woo!

Of course, for some crazy reason or another, we can’t get the keys until tomorrow.

Whatever though.  It is ours.  We now have to figure out moving logistics and such.  We have an overlap with the current house until the end of September, so we don’t have to rush it.


All the papers are signed. We should be home owners again for the first time in about five years sometime tomorrow. Woo!

House Buying Update

Remember that house?  I have neglected to post updates along the way, but everything went the way it was supposed to.  Offer was accepted by both the sellers and their bank.  (Well, the bank wanted slightly more than our offer, and we went up a tad…  ends up being an extra $20 a month or something.)  Inspection found no major issues.  Appraisers appraised it for more than the mortgage.  All loans and such approved.  The last thing that seemed to have even a little uncertainty attached (and there never seemed to be much) was cleared over a week ago at this point.  It has just been various people going through bureaucratic motions since then.  A couple of hours ago we got a note from one of the bureaucrats saying the target was various document signings on Monday and Tuesday, with final closing on Wednesday.

If all goes according to plan, that means we’ll have the month of September overlapping between the new and old places so that we can spread the move out if we want and have plenty of time to do things in a non-rushed fashion.

Never the less…  I hate moving.  In the end we’ll be in a better, bigger house…  for less money!  It will be nice, even though I will miss the old place too.  But the moving itself.  ARRGHHH!

Offer on a House

Well, we just made an offer on a house.

I’ve mentioned on the podcast that the last month or so we have been looking at options for buying a house this fall rather than continuing to rent the house we have been in for the last five years.

Our goal is to make a sideways move. Switch from renting to owning again, but basically end up putting out the same (or less) each month once you consider rent/mortgage, utilities, and all the random other expenses one expects.


We settled on a house. Everything in the price range we are targeting has compromises. We could go higher of course, but then we would miss our goal of a sideways move money wise.

The short version of the trade offs on this particular house:

  • Larger and nicer actual house
  • Not as nice a neighborhood

The longer version of the trade offs:

  • Brandy and I really liked it when we first saw it. It wasn’t perfect, but it was one of the only ones that we both liked when we saw it. (There were many we both hated, and a few one of us liked but not the other.)
  • Alex really liked it. Ran around spinning and saying “mine mine mine” through the rooms when he saw it. (There were other houses where he would immediately say “GO GO GO!” and try to push me back out the front door.)
  • Amy hated it at first, but we were able to bribe her with a larger room… she will get the room that would have been the home theater room instead of one of the smaller bedrooms. (That would have been smaller than the room she has today). So now she is OK with it. It means we will need to be creative on where (or if!) to set up our home theater stuff though.
  • About a 3rd larger inside than our current place…
  • but laid out very differently… other rooms bigger, but “common” spaces smaller. (For instance, huge master bedroom, but tiny living room.)
  • Significantly less back yard area. (This is probably actually good. We love our current large back yard, but we have never had time to keep up with it properly.)
  • The “neighborhood” is more cookie cutter and with the houses closer together than I would like and feels a bit less walkable than where we are now. Especially if you take a right when leaving the house. Going to the left is nicer. :-) (I’m talking about how pleasant walking the dog is, not being able to walk to things like stores. :-) )
  • The city it is in is not quite as nice in general as the city where we are now. I’m talking less trees and older less well maintained infrastructure and less upscale and such though… Not violent and crime ridden or that kind of thing. At least I hope not!
  • My commute will be 30 minutes instead of 21 minutes… with no traffic. Double those numbers with traffic most likely. So 60 minutes rather than 42 minutes in traffic. Well, actually, I tried the commute yesterday at rush hour and it was 48 minutes. Longer than I would like, but doable. It will be less if I avoid the rush hour peaks, which I often do.
  • Much “nicer” inside the house in terms of fit and finish compared to our current place, where lots of things are really showing their age.
  • It backs onto a small protected wetland, so at least directly behind us there isn’t another house, and probably won’t be any time soon. (There are houses on the other three sides.)
  • This also means that quite a few of the windows in the house look out on trees instead of other houses
  • There will be (small) spaces for both Brandy and I to have offices. My office will be smaller than in the current house, but Brandy will actually have an office, rather than just a corner of the living room like she has now.
  • There is a neat under-stairs storage area that can be like a clubhouse for Alex.
  • No real place that can serve as a guest bedroom (although we may be able to be creative there and figure something out)
  • Down a little private driveway tucked behind other houses instead of right on the street
  • Nice large modern kitchen
  • One of those huge nice new master baths, plus two other full baths
  • Much more energy efficient than our current house, which is horrid on that front
  • Lots of windows and light
  • We will actually own the place, so we’ll be able to change things and fix things when we want.


Anyway, if all goes well and according to our preferred schedule we will move Septemberish.

Of course, they may not accept the offer or something else may go wrong. But we’re hopeful.

We shall see I guess.

House: Season One: Disk Two

A little while ago it was time for another DVD we own but hadn’t watched, and it was specifically time for more of House: Season One, which I’d gotten for Christmas.

This disk has episodes 5-8 of Season One.  At this point we’re pretty on track with the standard House formula.  You know, two or three wrong diagnoses before getting to the right one in the last few minutes of the episode, with of course some drama between the characters and House being an ass the whole time.  It is fun to watch, but you can’t deny it is pretty formulaic.

Here we had one episode about a sick nun, one with a teenager taking care of his mentally ill mother, one about a woman who can only be cured if she admits she had an affair, and one with mysterious poison.

Of these, I think Episode 6, the one with the teenager and his mother, was the most fun.  In any case, another four episodes of House.  Good show.  Good disk.  Amy was anxious to just move on and start the next disk of this series, but it was something else’s turn first…