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[writing|help] The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund is doing a fundraiser

So, the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund has been a big presence in my life these past few years, helping me financially at times of great need. (I did not need them this year, as it happens, thanks to all your generosity with the Sequence a Science Fiction Writer fundraiser back at the beginning of the year.) Their reserve funds are running low, and they have asked me to try to boost the signal on a much-needed year-end fundraiser.

Here’s what my friends at the Clayton fund have to say about themselves:

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draw on our money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.

The Clayton Fund was founded seventeen years ago by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) in response to the illness of Portland writer Jo Clayton. Our initial money came from a national campaign by writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy to help Jo and other writers. The Fund has since assisted many writers in the region deal with medical and dental emergencies.

As part of OSFCI, the Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and often qualify for matching donations from employers.

Donations can be made using PayPal through the Fund’s Web site ( or mailed to:

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Please be sure to include full contact information so we can mail you a letter acknowledging your donation.

I’ll be donating from my surplusage from this year’s fund raising for my benefit. If you’ve got a few extra bucks this season looking for a tax deduction, why not join me? It’s an excellent cause helping writers who often have run out of financial lifelines. It’s an organization that has been of great help to me personally. That’s two fantastic reasons right there.

[tech|help] Recovering wire recordings?

O, mighty Internet brain….

A dear friend has discovered some wire recordings of his grandmother singing on the radio. He’d like to get those played back and converted into a currently usable format. In the rather wide community of tech enthusiasts and hobbyists that my social media footprint touches, do any of you have the capability to play and capture wire recordings? Or do you have access to facilities that do?

Let me know in comments or email, and I’ll hook you up with my friend.

[cancer|help] Trying to crowdsource key medical coding info about whole genome sequencing

Dad is helping me apply to my insurance company for reimbursement for the Whole Genome Sequencing. While they have been very cooperative, we have inevitably become mired in bureaucratic challenges. We think we have found all the answers except one.

The insurance company wants a CPT code for Whole Genome Sequencing. However, Illumina, the lab that did the work, does not provide CPT codes because they do not bill insurance. They say it takes a specific analysis to identify what CPT codes are appropriate to bill to an insurance company, and that they have no one trained to do this.

Other sources have told us there are various codes for partial genome sequencing and whole exome sequencing, but no one has been able to identify a CPT code for whole genome sequencing. My father has not had any luck with Internet searches.

Does anyone know what the CPT code is for whole genome sequencing, or where to look?

[help] O mighty blogospheric brain, re 19th c. German naming conventions

Another appeal to the mighty blogospheric brain, to see if anyone can shed some light on 19th century German naming conventions among sibling groups. This one from my Dad, who avidly pursues genealogy.

German naming system 19th Century

One ancestor and three of his brothers all immigrated to the US. They have all been identified in German baptismal records for the early 19th century. However, a fifth brother, of whom we have never heard, also turned up.

Even stranger, the ancestor’s given name was Georg Lorenz. However, his baptismal record says his name is Lorenz. The fifth brother was born and baptized after Lorenz and given the name Georg Michael. Is there any logical explanation for the older brother to have taken his younger brother’s first name?

[help] Looking for info on genre-friendly college English programs

This is signal boost for a friend, who will pick up feedback here in comments.

Amongst the manifold experiences of my trusty readers, can you all recommend a list of which college English departments are SFF friendly? A student who is applying for college wants to be a creative writing and/or English major, and is also a budding fantasy novelist — and definitely wants to be writing genre fantasy, not “literary” fantasy. While my friend is aware of some of the few graduate programs that are genre-friendly, can the mighty blogospheric brain offer some comments on undergraduate programs?

Many thanks.

[help|travel] Portland to Seattle and back

Anyone reading this in PDX planning to drive to the Locus Awards next weekend? What with my chemo schedule slip and all, I can probably make it.

I have a tentative ride up Friday afternoon, but no ride back on Sunday. If possible, I’d rather ride up first thing Saturday morning, and I need to come back Sunday morning/midday.

If you’re coming or going with an extra seat in the car, please let me know.

[help|tech] Linksys and Cisco router-bridge weirdness

ETA: A working 802.11g bridge has been made available. This post is now academic, and is being left live for the networking prØn value. Thank you.

I had two knowledgable and generous friends over yesterday helping me reconfigure my network to upgraded bandwidth from Comcast and an upgraded Cisco E4200 router to support the higher speeds.

We got into the issue of reconfiguring the old Linksys 802.11g router (WRT54-G) to be a bridge with the E4200 in order to support some printers that lack their own wireless cards and cannot be connected to the E4200 via wired Ethernet. (All of this has to do with the physical layout of my house and the location of two of the three printers here.) This was previously supported by a bridge between a very old Linksys B-Bridge (WET11) and the WRT54-G. Much consulting of Web sites and fooling around with the admin interface. Bad success ensued.

Failing that, we tried to bridge said very old WET11 directly with the E4200. Among other things, the WET11 admin interface appears to be in a fragile state, and we simply could not make that happen. Further bad success ensued.

We eventually arrived at a somewhat inexplicable yet working kludge of resetting both of the old pieces of equipment to factory defaults, whereupon we could bridge the WET11 to the WRT54-G without actually doing anything to the admin interface of the WET11. We then connected the WRT54-G to the E4200 via Ethernet.

This is not a crisis, but the current network kludge is a clumsy, failure-prone and insecure networking arrangement. For about $60 I can buy a new WET610N, the current 802.11n functional equivalent to my seriously ancient WET11, but if possible I’d really prefer to use the otherwise perfectly functional WRT54-G as a bridge rather than spend even more money.

I would be very grateful to anybody in PDX who is a router-whisperer and understands Linksys/Cisco configurations well enough to untangle this problem for me. (Or on the other hand can confirm that what I’m trying to do cannot be done and I should just pony up the damned $60 and be done with it.) Advice is also helpful, as my knowledgable and generous friends can play hands to good directions if available. A site visit would be far more helpful given my chemobrain and their schedule. Happy to pop for beer and pizza, or gift a few books in return, if so.

Please advise.

[help] American social history

My dad is doing some historical/genealogical research on our family, and is stumped by an item from the 1910 U.S. Census. He’s hoping someone out here in the blogosphere can shed some light. So far his Google fu has been inadequate.

Dad says:

Two men in their 40’s living together at time of 1910 census in New York. Both employed as silk finishers in a silk mill.

One is listed as head of household and single. He apparently remained single for his whole life.

The other is listed as “partner” and married – having been married 20 years.

Anyone understand the use of the term partner in the 1910 census?


[help] Question regarding copyright

Apropos of this morning’s zen photo, I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while. I think I know the answer, but suspect my intuition is out of place.

What’s the copyright status of a photograph taken by someone else using my camera?

Example A:

I gave the camera to the_child and she took it on a field trip. Those are her photos, unambiguously. If I am going to reproduce them, I seek her permission.

Example B:

I am out with friends. I gave the camera to kenscholes to take a picture of me and bravado111 on my behalf. Generally I know who took the picture, and can secure a permission if needed. Say, because I have placed the photo in Locus or something.

Example C:

I am out with friends. I gave the camera to a waitperson to take a picture of the group of us on my behalf. I never get the photographer’s name or contact info. Do I have any right to reproduce that photo under copyright law? It can’t be work for hire, because I didn’t pay them for the photo. The implicit ownership of the photo is clear: it’s my equipment and the photo was taken at my request. But the copyright status is unclear to me.

Thoughts? Experiences?

[help] Need some Latin help

I have a short fiction manuscript with section headers in my terrible dog Latin. Anyone here with enough real Latin willing to have a look and correct my manglings?

I’d be much obliged.

Help has arrived. Thank you!

[help] Satellite orbit question

I swear this went through Link Salad in the last year or two, but I cannot run it down.

Is there a stable configuration for extremely long-term orbits (millennia or more) for artificial satellites? I recall reading that at least one satellite has been placed in such an orbit. I’m trying to sort out if that’s true, and if so, is there a name for such an orbit?

Why, yes, this is rocket science.