Jay Lake: Writer

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[links] Link salad wakes up in its own bed

Jay Lake livre son génome — I love the translation of my attribution, The author of the largely unknown Jade…

Neanderthals ‘could speak like us’ — “Ooh-bi-doo, I wan’na be like you / I want to walk like you, talk like you, too…“ Everybody sing!

Dutch masters paintings deconstructed — This is pretty intense.

Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

Big Dig West — Wow, this is serious stupidity up in Seattle, thanks to WSDOT.

Back in the Pulpit After Losing His Church, and Still Supporting Gay Marriage

Cosmas IndicopleustesCosmas composed his Christian Topography over a number of years, after he had retired to monastic life. He aimed at proving, contrary to prevailing Greek and some Christian theories, that the universe had the same shape as Moses’ tabernacle, that it was in the form of a cube and not a sphere. The earth was a flat, oblong table, 12,000 miles long and 6,000 miles wide, surrounded by ocean beyond which was Paradise, where Adam and Eve had lived (cf. II.43). The whole area was surrounded by high, perpendicular mountains on which the vault of heaven rested. Between heaven and earth lay the firmament, dividing the universe into two stages. God and the just dwelt on the upper level, to which man would be admitted after the Resurrection; on the lower was humanity in this life. And see here. (Thanks, ultimately, to Felix Gilman.)

Noah’s Extremely Bad Animal Husbandry AdviceBy their estimates, 16,000 land animals and birds, including dinosaurs, were on the ark. Uh, yeah. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Heat Wave Stifles AustraliaTemperatures topping 118° F, 48° C, baked eastern Australia during the final days of 2013 and first week of 2014.

Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car — Apparently there has since been a retraction. Gee, I wonder why. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Judge in “kids for cash” ruled liable for damage — It’s so rare for people who work in the judicial system to face consequences for misconduct, especially when the victims are essentially helpless and have no real social power. See our nation’s long and shameful history of essential zero consequences for prosecutorial misconduct, for example. This story continues to amaze me.

Freedom to lie[S]ome members of the court are concerned that the anti-abortion zealots are being obstructed from lying. You can’t blame them. Blatant dishonesty is a big part of the forced childbirth movement strategy and at least a handful of justices are undoubtedly fully on board with that tactic. Yeah, that whole Ten Commandment about not bearing false witness? Smug Republican Jesus gives His followers a pass on that one every time.

NJ Democrat lawmaker on traffic scandal: ‘I do think laws have been broken’ — As any Republican can tell you, rumors of a presidential blow job are far, far more politically important than abuse of power for petty political payback a part of a long term pattern of bullying and intimidation.

?otD: Did you walk alone in restless dreams?


1/12/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[friends|photos] Went to the railroad locomotive and watched a wedding

On Monday, July 29th, we went to a wedding. One I was very honored to attend.

[info]garyomaha and [info]elusivem finally got married after almost two decades together. They did it while here in the Pacific Northwest for JayWake, tying the knot at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, WA.

The ceremony was brief and lovely, held at the prow of a retired diesel locomotive (on my recommendation, I might proudly note). In addition to attending, I was one of the witnesses for the marriage license. The officiant and the other witness were another gay couple, long term friends of the grooms who came down from Seattle. Also in attendance were Lisa Costello and [info]the_child, as well as [info]scarlettina, and my dad and (step)mom. Afterwards, we all retired for a lovely lunch at Skamania Lodge.

I was so pleased to see two dear, long-time friends feeling free to take this momentous and emotional step in their lives. I wish them all happiness and as long together as is given to them.

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The wedding party on the move

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The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center, with bonus [info]scarlettina

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Inside the interpretive center

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The grooms, boning up for the ceremony

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[info]scarlettina her own self

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[info]the_child

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Lisa Costello

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The grooms (left and right) with the officiant and other witness

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A Jay sandwich

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My (step)mom and [info]elusivem

As usual, more at the Flickr set.


Photo © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and B. Lake.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and B. Lake is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[photos] North Head and Cape Disappointment, southwestern tip of WA state

A week ago, when we were out at the Long Beach peninsula in southwestern Washington state, Lisa Costello took a number of photos at North Head and Cape Disappointment.

North Head

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[photos] Portraits at the Washington Coast

Last weekend, Lisa Costello had the camera a lot. Here’s some pictures of us.

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Me, waiting for the tide

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Mom and Dad, walking on the Long Beach peninsula near Leadbetter Point

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Lisa Costello, me, Mom and Dad at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (photo by A. Passing Tourist)

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Me at Waikiki Beach, near Cape Disappointment

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There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west

Photos © 2013, Lisa Costello, plus anonymous

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[photos|art] The good, the bad, and the ugly… well, the bad and the ugly at any rate

There’s a tradition on the Long Beach peninsula (SW Washington state) of chainsaw sculpture. Which is definitely an art form in its own right. But sometimes chainsaw sculpture is an art form in its own wrong.

During our recent stay there, Lisa Costello became fascinated with this somewhat homely fisherman:

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She then realized that just down the road was his homelier girlfriend the mermaid:

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Except that mermaid would have given Hans Christian Andersen a case of the screaming fantods and turned him into a horror writer. Finally, Lisa realized that the mermaid wasn’t the fisherman’s girlfriend, she was the fisherman in bad drag. “Skag”, as some of my gay friends call it.

You’re welcome.


As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2013, Lisa Costello.

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This work by Lisa Costello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[photos] Odd vehicles on the Long Beach peninsula

Found some interesting vehicles here on the Long Beach peninsula in southwestern Washington state. Yesterday I photographed two examples in Ocean Park, WA.

Ford Ranchero GT, 1968 or 1969

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Rancheros and El Caminos. Never really wanted to own one, but the looks appeal to me. And this one looks so cool. No idea what the drivetrain is or how she would perform, but she’s fun to find by the side of the road.

Home Brew Swamp Hopper

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I have no idea about this one. It’s only my guess she’s a swamp hopper. That’s going by the diesel engine, with tall stacks for the air intake and the exhaust. Well, and the very unusual wheel-and-track arrangement. That trailer is hydraulically connected to the body. I couldn’t figure out the drive train arrangement, on account of not being willing to crawl around on the ground in my current state of health. Weirdest of all, she sports a long-expired Washington license plate, implying she was once street-legal.

As usual, more of both vehicles at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[photos] What I am doing today

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Photo © 2013, Lisa Costello

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This work by Lisa Costello is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[photos] I love a parade

Mom and Dad and I went and had an extended Norman Rockwell moment yesterday. Ocean Park, WA, has an annual Fourth of July parade. It’s a classic small town American parade — fire trucks, politicians, police cars, hot rods, dogs, kids on bikes, the D.A.R., and a whole bunch of random stuff. Here’s a small sampling of the day:

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The synchronized shopping cart brigade

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Folks from the assisted living facility

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Patriotic pickup

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Uncle Sam and Abe Lincoln

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The American dream on wheels

There’s lots more pictures, but my bandwidth here is very limited. Check out more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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[personal] Life’s a beach

Lisa Costello and I are at my parents’ beach house for a week. The air is cool, the surf is rolling just past the dunes west of the house, and I am relaxed. Blogging may be slow, but I’ll be here.

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[politics] Election Day

First and foremost, if you haven’t already, go vote. Obviously I care passionately who gets elected, but your vote is yours, not mine. I’m not entitled to an opinion about how you vote, only about whether you vote. Even if you and I have diametrically opposed political views, I still think it’s critical that we both vote. Call me idealistic, but I never thought the way to winning elections was to discourage the people I disagree with from voting. Quite the opposite, in fact.

For Oregon voters, here’s some information on last minute voting.

Context for people who don’t live in Oregon or Washington: All our elections are 100% vote by mail. We don’t have Election Day polling places, though the county offices are open for ballot drop and for people who had trouble with their mail-in ballots. It’s a clean, simple system that seems to optimize turn-out with virtually no fraud at all. Sometimes there are problems with people who’ve recently moved and may have two addresses, but that amounts to a literal handful of votes statewide in any given election cycle. I don’t why all fifty states don’t adopt this system — virtually all the nonsense about voter ID laws and limiting early voting simply vanishes with this system. It also eliminates all the issues around polling places and staffing and having the right forms and so on. Clean, simple and fair.

If you favor universal suffrage and high turn outs, this system should be a model. If you don’t favor universal suffrage and high turn outs, then we don’t have a lot to talk about because I don’t agree with your profoundly undemocratic and unpatriotic values.

Note, per a brief discussion in comments yesterday with [info]ericjamesstone, that I do not favor some sort of permanent single party liberal-progressive government. I have no equivalent vision of the GOP’s triumphalist Permanent Majority. We need a balance of viewpoints and opinions in government, simply because no one is right all the time, and solutions which are sensible under one set of circumstances can be destructive under other sets.

Whether that balance is best provided by a two-party system is another discussion entirely, but that’s the system the United States has today. The only path I see to meaningful multiparty democracy in this country would involve a complete shattering of the Republican coalition. While I think that given the current nature of the Republican party that would probably be very good for the country, I find it unlikely to actually happen. There’s way too much money tied up in GOP interests, and the media is too deeply invested in both conservative aims in general, and in their own conservative ownership and management.

My issue with the GOP and the conservative movement isn’t their existence, or even necessarily their nominal aims as parsed through the lens of pre-Reagan conservatism. My issue is with the scorched earth, spoke-in-the-wheels style of politics the GOP practices in lieu of actually governing when they are in office. My issue is with the eliminationist politics of resentment the GOP absolutely relies on for votes, poisoning society and culture as a whole. My issue is with handing government over to people dedicated to drowning it in a bathtub, to people who believe that government is incapable of competence or effectiveness, and therefore govern incompetently and ineffectively.

The modern Republican party doesn’t have a different vision of government than I do. They have a contract out on government. If they were interested in reform, or an alternate vision for the future, we’d have something to talk about. But despite the high minded rhetoric they throw around to make themselves feel good about decades of wholesale political and social vandalism, the GOP is a party that wants to destroy the village in order to save it. A village we all have to live in, regardless of whether we vote or who we vote for.

To put it in SF nerd terms, the GOP has become Frank Herbert’s BuSab. And that’s good for none of us. Not even the conservatives so busy setting fire to the village they live in.

So, yeah, I voted for Obama. Because I’d like there to be a functioning American government tomorrow, and next year, and next decade.

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