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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September 2017
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Curmudgeon’s Corner: Nothingburger

This week on Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan focus on the “nothingburger” of the Donald Trump Jr meeting everybody has been talking about. Nothing to see there, right? But before that, they do manage to get in some conversation on Trump’s performance at the G20, and on completely non-Trump matters, they talk about unlimited data plans, kids and YouTube, and revisit the minimum wage. Lots of meat in that nothingburger!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2017-07-14
Length this week – 2:08:38

  • (0:01:30-0:38:35) But First
    • Andy Pandy
    • Agenda
    • Unlimited Followup
    • Kids and YouTube
    • Christmas Drone
    • Feedback
    • Minimum Wage/Income
  • (0:39:55-1:01:24) Trump at the G20
    • Godfather
    • Trump Isolation
    • Micromanager or Disengaged?
    • Cooperating with the world?
    • Ivanka’s participation
    • Nobody resigning
  • (1:04:53-2:08:18) Donald Trump Jr
    • Background
    • Back to the dossier
    • The dangle
    • Digital operations
    • Conspiracy theories
    • Crimes this week
    • Treason?
    • State vs Federal
    • What about DNC/Ukraine?
    • All the crimes
    • Do Republicans ever bail?
    • Peter Smith suicide
    • Back to the primaries?
    • How much more is there?
    • Bernie Bros
    • Bring on Gen X
    • McMullin 2020

 

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: Kids, They Want to have Fun

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

  • NSA Correction / Little Kids and Tech
  • Bigger Kids and Tech
  • Evolution of Language
  • Anti-Gay Russian Olympic Rules / Rave Culture

Recorded on 16 Aug 2013

Length this week – 1:32:33

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NurtureShock

Author: Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Original Publication: 2009 Sep 3
Started: 2010 Dec 22
Finished: 2011 Jan 3
Format: Hardcover
336 pages / 13 days
25.8 pages/day

I am now so far behind in these, it is a miracle I remember the books at all. It has been over six months since I finished this book. Uh…  make that 7 months…  Oops. Oh well, let me give it a try anyway. This was the second “parenting” kind of book I read in a relatively short period of time.  But I swear it was complete coincidence, it is what came up next.

Anyway, this one just reviews a bunch of different areas where research into child development has shown counterintuitive results and where simple things perhaps have a much greater effect than one might otherwise expect.  Things like how praising a child for BEING smart is actually counterproductive, while praising them for something they DID that was smart helps quite a bit. Which makes sense when you think about it of course, but they show a lot of the backup research, lay it out, etc.  I think that one was the first chapter.

That is just one of many examples.  They key to each of these is that they take relevant research, walk through the situations, the results of the research, etc and then apply it.  Nothing is just “this is the right way to do this because I think it is”.  Everything is backed up and nothing is actually that absolute.  And they are all interesting bits that you may or may not have thought of otherwise.

Anyway, I found this fun and interesting.  Now, several months later do I actually remember much of it?  Nah.  In fact I had to go online to remind myself of the one example I used above.  But still, it was a good read.  And it does seem like it had some good points that I could be applying to both Alex and Amy right now.

Uh…  if only I could remember them.

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

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[wpaudio url=”http://www.abulsme.com/CurmudgeonsCorner/CC20110626.mp3″ 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.

Laboring Alone

In the latest Curmudgeon’s Corner…

Sam talks about:

  • Obama surprises Liberals
  • Obama surprises Sam
  • Sam surprises Sam
  • Parental Sam

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[wpaudio url=”http://www.abulsme.com/CurmudgeonsCorner/CC20090907.mp3″ text=”CC recorded 7 Sep 2009″]

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