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[links] Link salad asked him which was the way back home

Cars, Cards & Carbines – Multi-Genre Fiction Anthology — A Kickstarter for a project in which I have a story.

The Lord of the Rings personality type chart — Snerk.

When I Finally Realized What I Was Seeing, This Was The Coolest Thing Ever. Look Closer. — Mmm. Cars. (Via [info]danjite.)

Space Weathering: The Mars Connection

Scientists Confirm Existence of Moon — The headline is pretty funny, but also a tad misleading. Science! It works, bitches. (Via David Goldman.)

Elk vs. Photographer | Great Smoky Mountains National Park — Funny, but yow! (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)

Shark jumps out of aquarium into swimming poolA shark managed to jump out of its aquarium on to a water slide at a hotel swimming pool used by guests. The ending of the story is not so funny as the headline. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

People who don’t forget can still be tricked with false memoriesPeople with highly superior autobiographical memory also form fake memories.

A Cold War Fought by Women — Hmm.

Majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real, study showsStudy suggests far-reaching acceptance of climate change in traditionally Republican states such as Texas and Oklahoma. Huh. You sure couldn’t tell it by who they elect to Congress. (Via [info]madwriter.)

Anti-LGBT activist slams church over ‘effeminate’ Jesus: ‘He smelled bad… He was a man’s man’ — Amazing how often God’s inviolate Word and eternal plan for Man so often coincides with each individual believer’s bigotries and prejudices.

Why Black Folks Tend to Shout — Ta-Nehisi Coates on George Zimmerman’s repeated violence.

Up in ArmsThe battle lines of today’s debates over gun control, stand-your-ground laws, and other violence-related issues were drawn centuries ago by America’s early settlers. (Via Ellen Eades.)

Special Report: The Pentagon’s doctored ledgers conceal epic waste — (Via BBB.)

Rep. Trey Radel charged with cocaine possessionRep. Trey Radel, a freshman Republican from Florida, was arrested on Oct. 29 for possession of cocaine in the District of Columbia, according to D.C. Superior Court documents. This is why the GOP is so popular: law and order, dedication to moral principle, and Christian values.

State Rep. Uses Sledgehammer To Destroy Homeless People’s PossessionsStay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best. I stand corrected, thanks to [info]nicosian. Apparently this violent loon is a Democrat. My confusion is understandable but inappropriate. My apologies.

?otD: Do you take a right at the light and go straight on until night? At what point are you on your own?


11/20/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing down donut shops: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[personal] Our CarMax experience

I was being very grumpy about CarMax on Twitter this past Thursday. A lot of people wondered what was going on. As we were finally able to resolve the issue yesterday, I’ll lay it out now.

Lisa Costello and I are back in Maryland helping settle her parents’ affairs. Her 83-year-old father had a stroke about three weeks ago, and her 80-year-old mother has advanced dementia, with him as her primary caregiver. The two of them have relocated to Missouri to live with extended family. (That’s what we were doing here on our last trip a week ago, helping them get sorted out and moved.)

Lisa’s dad executed a durable power-of-attorney here in Maryland with her as his personal representative. This legally allows Lisa to work with the real estate agent, the attorneys, sell the car, and so forth. I’ve actually been handling the majority of the real estate and attorney matters on her behalf, but she is the client of record in her father’s name. Obviously, those are the most critical issues remaining to us.

Disposing of his car was another one that needed to happen in the two business days we were here this past week. It’s a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria LX with low mileage, in excellent condition. I had the vehicle detailed Thursday morning, then at Lisa’s direction, took it to the CarMax location in Brandywine, MD. I explained right up front that this was a power-of-attorney transaction, giving them the basic background outlined above. The CarMax folks assured us that they handled those routinely and there would be no difficulty. They then went through the appraisal process and provided us with what I believed to be a rather generous offer to purchase the car. (The amount offered was above the high end of the Kelly Blue Book value range for the vehicle as best as I could calculate.) All of this took longer than we might have hoped, but that’s what happens when you’re buying or selling an automobile.

We had gotten far enough into the transaction that Lisa had signed the title over, and the CarMax representative had countersigned, when we reached a deeply annoying snag.

CarMax required us to surrender the original copy of the power-of-attorney.

This had never been mentioned to us up front. The power-of-attorney document itself states quite clearly that copies of the document have the same validity as the original. I believe this is normal in Maryland law. In other words, the requirement for the original was a CarMax business rule, not a legal requirement. When we pointed out that we were not about to surrender the original copy of that document, the dealer reluctantly agreed to accept a certified copy.

CarMax’s own notary refused to certify the copy. She felt it was a conflict-of-interest, and that we would have to leave the dealership and go find a notary at a bank, or elsewhere, to make a certified copy. (I’m not sure that’s a term of art in Maryland law, but it’s what the dealership wanted.)

We visited a bank, an insurance agent, and a AAA office in the area. In all three cases, they declined to certify copies. The basic issue seemed to be whether a copy of a document which had previously been notarized could be notarized again to certify the copy. My suggestion of the notary writing a brief cover letter stating that the attached was a true and accurate copy, and notarize that, was not acceptable.

The only acceptable way to get a certified copy would be to return to the issuing attorney’s office and have a new original created. Which was now impossible as Lisa’s father had moved out of state.

We wound up taking the car back from CarMax, having spent about five hours of the day — one of our only two in Maryland to handle this business — with no success. Irritating enough. Vastly more irritating was that the title had been signed over to CarMax, so it was marred, and we couldn’t simply walk into another auto dealer with less stringent business requirements for the power-of-attorney and sell the car. And we didn’t have time to go seek a replacement title, given our return to Oregon on Sunday.

At that point, I figured we were in for a third trip from Oregon to Maryland to deal with this, or would have to pay the attorney to handle the details of the transaction. Either option would be annoyingly expensive, running at least into the low $1,000s. CarMax had wasted our day, and set us up for a very expensive failure.

So I did what I do when that sort of thing happens, which was bitch about it on the Internet, referencing @carmax.

Their social media team responded quickly, asking me to please call an 800 number. I did so, still in a state of pretty extreme irritation. (I am, however, always polite even those situations. Especially in those situations. Just perhaps a bit stronger voiced and worded than usual.) The woman who took our call was both surprised and sympathetic, and asked if she could call me back after talking to her legal department, and to a senior manager elsewhere in Maryland’s CarMax network.

Eventually, I spoke to another manager here in Maryland, who directed me to take the vehicle to their Laurel store and meet with the business manager there.

Lisa and I drove to Laurel yesterday morning to be there when the CarMax store opened for the day. The gentleman we dealt with there explained that the issue was that CarMax required the original executed copy of the power-of-attorney because as a nationwide dealer network, they often transferred inventory to other states, and not all states would accept a copy of a power-of-attorney as valid. As most vehicles sold under a power-of-attorney are sold via a limited power-of-attorney, essentially a single-use document specific to that transaction, surrendering the original isn’t usually a big issue for the seller.

As I pointed out to him, that was entirely CarMax’s affair, and I was not about to tell them how to run their business. However, they had a sales communication problem in not explaining that requirement up front to us before committing us to an hours-long transaction and having us sign over the damned title, thus rendering it difficult to sell anywhere else. We would have just left the Brandywine CarMax location and gone to another dealer rather then engage in the whole process. (In the end, there is a form in Maryland for mis-signed titles, called I believe an “Affidavit of Correction”, but we didn’t have time for that, either.)

The manager at the Laurel store made copies of the power-of-attorney and certified them, stating clearly he was making an exception to the usual CarMax business rules as make-good for our troubles of the day before. He had another CarMax employee handle our transaction paperwork so that his certification of the power-of-attorney didn’t represent a conflict of interest. In about an hour, we were in and out of the Laurel store with the car sold, and the check in our hands, payable to Lisa’s father. (We promptly FedEx’ed the check to him in Missouri.)

In the end, CarMax made it right for us. For this, I thank them, especially the staff at the Laurel, Maryland store.

The core issue was a business rule on CarMax’s part which placed an extra burden beyond what Maryland law required, plus a training problem at the Brandywine store in that when they stated they would accept the power-of-attorney as evidence’s of Lisa’s standing to sell the car, they did not explain this business rule right up front.

There’s also a sidebar issue specific to me personally about having to handle customer service problems through Internet escalation. I went down this road somewhat famously with PayPal last January, and have also tangled with UnitedHealthcare in public, and am on the verge of possibly doing so with United Airlines. As it happens, my social media footprint is sized such that I can make myself sufficiently radioactive to generate a focused response. Would I get the swift responses I do in these situations if I wasn’t me? Or does everyone who complains via Twitter or Facebook get this response?

Mostly, I want things done right in the first place, with no need to complain. I have no quarrel with the CarMax business requirement for the original power-of-attorney. I do have a quarrel with their failure to properly explain their internal requirements openly right up front. And if we weren’t in our last days ever in this state, I could have gone home and worked through the process patiently. Instead I escalated. And yes, I had plans B, C and D if the escalation did not work, because that’s how I roll.

So that was the CarMax misadventure. Another way to burn a few spoons and fritter one of the ever fewer remaining days of my foreshortened life.

[links] Link salad leaves the DC area

If Game of Thrones Were A Children’s Book Series — Hahahaha. Via Reynardo the Red.)

The Perfect Car — 911-DS. Um… Wow… (Via [info]danjite.)

Google Reveals Plans for Mystery Barges

Finding the Higgs Leads to More PuzzlesAs scientists try to reconcile the discovery of the Higgs boson with what they thought they knew, one theory suggests that a glitch in the Higgs field could end the universe as we know it. (Thanks to Dad.)

?otD: Will I see you at Orycon this weekend?


11/7/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (extremely fitful)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing children to learn critical thinking skills: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[photos] Fierocycle in Klamath Falls, OR

As long time readers may know, I like automobiles a lot. I like weird machinery a lot. I enjoy folk art. I admire field-expedient ingenuity as well.

Sometimes these threads come together…

Spotted this past Saturday night in Klamath Falls, OR, the Fierocycle:

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Yes, that is the ass end of a decapitated Pontiac Fiero mated to a home-brew frame and a Yamaha front fork. I am awestruck.

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

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

[links] Link salad remembers the taste of French fries

Bi-Biplane: 1917 — I love this photo.

These Cars Are The Same Size — Our brains lie to us all the time. (Thanks to [info]willyumtx.)

Cuteness Inspires AggressionThe universal desire to squeeze baby animals, hard. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Ancient Kingdom Discovered Beneath Mound in Iraq — I wonder why we always say “kingdom” instead of “monarchy”. Ah, the embedded gender politics of language.

Flowers evolved 100 million years earlier than thought, plant pollen fossils reveal

Signs of oxygen in 3-billion-year-old soilWhich means photosynthesis is at least that old.

NASA Is Grounded — Brought to you by Your Republican Party.

Are you part of the 99%? — This explains a lot. Sadly.

Cameron: profit is no longer a dirty wordDavid Cameron will offer a wholehearted defence of British business, arguing that only successful companies can make the country a true “land of opportunity”. Sigh.

If It Happened There … the Government Shutdown — How we would report on a government shutdown in another country. Hahahah. (Via Scott Frey.)

On Defending Principles — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison on the GOP’s government shutdown.

Your False-Equivalence Guide to the Days Ahead: A kind of politics we have not seen for more than 150 years This isn’t “gridlock.” It is a ferocious struggle within one party, between its traditionalists and its radical factions, with results that unfortunately can harm all the rest of us — and, should there be a debt default, could harm the rest of the world too. There simply is no principled or intellectually honest stance that can account for what the Republicans are doing today.

The Saddest Paragraph You’ll Read About the Government Shutdown Today With NIH furloughs, children with cancer are being turned away from clinical trials. Your Republican party: turning away ill children to die in order to protect you from the Socialist scourge of affordable access to healthcare. I guess in the moral universe of conservatives this somehow makes sense. (Via [info]danjite.)

Ted Cruz Lie Exposed By Student He Used To Attack Obamacare — Republicans lie. Especially about anything to do with Obamacare. (See death panels, the abortion fee, etc.) Why is this surprising? (Via David Goldman.)

Obamacare myths: Small business owners’ most common misconceptions about the law — This confusion was deliberately fostered by the continuous, hysterical lying by the GOP and their shills in Your Liberal Media.

Why conservatives hate Obamacare — Interesting article which rather naively assumes there’s any rational basis for the conservative hatred of all things Obama. Bush merely ruined our military standing in the world, failed to protect us from terrorism, crashed the economy and ran up the highest deficits in history. Obama is guilty of a black Democrat. Any conservative can tell which of those is a crime against the Constitution.

?otD: Got ketchup?


10/2/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block implementing Kenyan Muslim socialism by helping poor people see doctors: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad looks to the West

44 out of 72 of the world’s tallest buildings are cheating — Vanity height? Really? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

11 Terrific Online Video Sites That Aren’t Netflix, Hulu, or iTunes — (Thanks to [info]lillypond, a/k/a my sister.)

Motorized Bar Stool Was “Not Road-Legal,” Say Police

Earth Had Oxygen Much Earlier Than Thought

Fish with oldest known ‘face’ may reshuffle evolutionary family tree

Thousands of Dino Tracks Found in Alaska

Ant drinking from a raindrop — Wow. (Via David Goldman.)

The Twisted Trees of Slope Point — Wow. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Box — Some pretty astonishing art on video. (Via Ellen Eades.)

Why Today’s Inventors Need to Read More Science FictionMIT researchers Dan Novy and Sophia Brueckner argue that the mind-bending worlds of authors such as Philip K. Dick and Arthur C. Clarke can help us not just come up with ideas for new gadgets, but anticipate their consequences. Also, water is wet. I’m glad people in the real world are seeing this. (Via both AH and [info]threeoutside.)

First computer made of carbon nanotubes is unveiled

What Apple’s M7 Motion-Sensing Chip Could Do Apple’s always-on motion-sensing M7 chip points the way to an era of mobile gesture-recognition and “ambient intelligence.”

Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve — This is a big deal. And weird as heck. (Via [info]danjite.)

H.W. Bush witnesses same-sex marriage — Who knew Reagan’s vice president and the father of the sainted Dubya was also a Kenyan Muslim socialist out to destroy America? Too bad he didn’t show any of this compassionate and social awareness any time in the last thirty years, when it might have made a fucking difference.

Christian history, and other oxymoronsThe press’s acceptance of the dishonest self-label “Christian” for this bunch of loons has a bad impact on religion as well as on politics. Welcome to conservative America. Here’s your tinfoil hat and your Republican Jesus cross. Pay no attention to that New Testament pinko with all his talk of helping the poor and giving away your worldly possessions. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

My medical tourism days may be over, thanks to Obamacare — Another wretched Obamacare victim benefits from Kenyan Muslim socialism. Where are the patriotic Americans who can stop this national nightmare of widespread, affordable access to healthcare?

Why Ted Cruz Should sit down and Shut Up: Countries with Social Safety Net HappiestIn a performance that the rest of the world could not even comprehend, a wealthy, Ivy League-educated Texan talked until he was blue in the face to prevent poor children from seeing a doctor. Welcome to conservative America, where punishing the less fortunate is a patriotic, Christian value.

Subsidizing Farmers But Not the Poor Still EvilI will concede that there is a moral principle at work here in the right-wing position. The principle is that people who have lots of money work harder and are more deserving than people who have very little of it, and it’s wrong for the government to support the latter at the expense of the former.

Colorado Lawmaker: Democrats Using ‘Mind Control’ to Make People Accept ‘Homosexual Marriage’ — The conservative “mind” is a wonder to behold. This is mainstream Republican thought. There simply is no equivalent to this kind of toxic idiocy in what passes for the left in America, at least outside the odd fringes.

Top Nevada GOPer Brags 2014 Will Be ‘A Great Year For Republicans’ Because Minorities Won’t Vote — A bit of unusual honesty from a Republican. They can’t win on their own merits, so they have to pray for the electorate to stay home.

?otD: Is your spirit crying for leaving?


9/26/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block violating religious freedom by treating LGBTQ people like human beings: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad was wondering under what circumstances we would use this

METAtropolis: Green Space — The new audiobook is up for pre-release. Check out the cover art and table of contents. Stories from Elizabeth Bear, Tobias S. Buckell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Seanan McGuire, Karl Schroeder, Ken Scholes and me.

Time Travel and Gender — Cora Buhlert with more on this topic.

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments — Hah! (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Telling My Child of My Cancer — A wonderful piece from Janet Freeman-Daily.

DNA Double Take[S]cientists are finding that it’s quite common for an individual to have multiple genomes. Some people, for example, have groups of cells with mutations that are not found in the rest of the body. Some have genomes that came from other people. (Thanks to my Dad.)

World’s Strangest Vehicles, Part 2Dark Roasted Blend is funny. However, note the blow quote at the top of the article. Heh.

Alien Civilisations: Two Competing Models

Robotic Snakes Could Invade Mars (For Science)

Speaking Very Ill of the Dead

Who Made That Built-In Eraser? — Ah, life’s little details. (Via my Dad.)

If you want to get fit, get fidgetingForget dieting, weight-lifting and all those work-outs – try fidgeting instead. Because, according to new research from the US Mayo Clinic, tiny exercise performed often enough can have as big an effect as rigorous exercise done less frequently. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Intel’s Anthropologist Genevieve Bell Questions the Smart Watch

Why Debunk Climate Change Deniers?[S]adly, the people who deny the reality around them have a very large megaphone, and in some cases have a lot of motivation to use it. Money, power, riling up the electorate, or, perhaps worst of all, pure zealotry. Nothing is as impenetrable as an armor wrought from fervent ideology. Welcome to conservative America, where the facts are only relevant if they’re on the Republican side.

Antarctica Sea Ice Hitting Record HighsThe record sea ice doesn’t contradict global warming. Because Antarctic sea ice encircles a frozen continent, the factors controlling its growth are complex, and include winds, warming air temperatures and even the ozone hole. Wind plays a greater role the size of the ice pack than air temperature or ocean currents.

International Politics and the First African American Flight Attendants

Women Can’t Vote in Sistersville

David Vitter’s kamikaze anti-Obamacare crusade gets even weirder — Are you proud of your Republican party?

Oklahoma National Guard reverses stance on same-sex couple benefitsOklahoma now joins Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana as the only states that have publicly said they will limit how and where such couples can register for benefits, despite a recent Pentagon directive. It’s only the law, and military policy: little things which conservatives care passionately about under most non-gay circumstances. Are you still proud of your Republican party?

The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it backThe NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet – and now we have to fix it.

Qotd?: Did I say ‘dart gun’?


9/18/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 247.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing golf courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[personal|photos] Yesterday was weird

So, yesterday was weird. I had an unexpected burst of energy and focus in the morning, so I did some housecleaning and arranging of stuff. This resulted in significant decluttering, much to the delight of Lisa Costello when she returned from her brunch date. [info]the_child then did some needed furniture moving.

My friend AC came over, and we talked writing for a while, then she, Lisa and I went to lunch. So far so good.

After that, it got a little weird.

Lisa and I tooled over to the Hawthorne district to get me a haircut. I’m just shaggy enough to need it, even though things are ridiculously short. Plus she’d never met John, my crossbow-toting stylist. That was a fine time, and my hair was much improved.

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On returning to the Genre car, we found that the fig tree we’d parked under with the top down had dive-bombed the interior with a rotting fig. It looked like someone had vomited all over the back seat. In the process of dealing with this, I got fig poo all over my cane. I need to go to the auto detail place tomorrow and get the crusted fig poo washed out of the carpet and seats.

We then hied over to Portland Saturday Market to see artist Beverly Toyu. Ellen Eades had given me a gift certificate for a life mask to be made by Beverly. I sat for the making of the facial mold with plaster of Paris, which was a more than passing strange experience. Very intimate, very centering, and rather reminiscent of being laid out as if for my own funeral.

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Plus the aftermath was pretty funny.

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I don’t recommend this process to anyone who’s claustrophobic or has issues with having their face obscured or pinned close. Otherwise, it’s damned cool experience.

Back at the Genre car, we returned to Hawthorne to buy cheese and bread at Pastaworks. On returning to where we parked, we discovered a flat tire. It was not dead flat, so I pulled around the corner to a side street. Being no longer capable of changing my tire, I of course called my stylist. Being a Hero of the Revolution, he walked the three blocks from his salon and changed my tire for me.

We eventually got to chez Team E— for dinner, only to discover I was supposed to have brought groceries which I had utterly failed to procure. This resulted in dinner at The Observatory (mmm, oregano fry bread), before we finally went home.

Team E— did have some marvelous peppers and whatnot at their house.

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So, other than the exploding figs, plaster of Paris up my nose, and the flat tire, it was a pretty good day. Today I have not previously planned stops at the tire place and the auto detail place.

Ah, life. She is for living. Every day I wake up alive is a good day, but figs and all, yesterday was a better day.


Photos and videos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr. and Lisa Costello.

Creative Commons License

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

[links] Link salad is drunk and dressed in its best brown baggies and its platform soles

Hook Agonistes” is live at Subterranean Online — By Seanan McGuire and me. Go read it.

5 Gorgeous DIY Cheese Boards To Impress Your Guests — Mmm, cheese. (Via [info]theeoutside.)

Researcher controls colleague’s motions in first human brain-to-brain interface — What could possibly go wrong? (Via several sources, including [info]danjite and Ellen Eades.)

Iron gall ink and wasps — Huh. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Tesla outsells Porsche, Jaguar, others in Calif. — Huh.

Embracing misinformation on Obama — All that really important Bible stuff about not bearing false witness and doing as you would be done by doesn’t apply to talking about Kenyan Socialist Muslims and their unConstitutional plots to ensure that more Americans receive affordable healthcare. Ask any Republican!

Pat Robertson Claims Gays Deliberately Spread AIDS Using Sharp Jewelry — Because being a conservative Christian means making up batshit lies about people God tells you it’s okay to hate. None of that Ten Commandments crap about bearing false witness applies to people who follow Jesus. Given this man is one of the most public Christian leaders in the country, I am so glad I’m an atheist.

Limbaugh: Feminism Rooted In “Sexual Perversion” — Because being conservative means even a vicious, cruel bastard can be idolized into fame and fortune.

N.M. Republican Said Gay Men Should Stop ‘Whoring’ And Marry Women — Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

Zimmerman Wants Florida to Pay Legal BillsHe wants to be reimbursed for up to $300,000 after his acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin. As any conservative can tell you, Zimmerman is a true American hero who made a much-needed stand against the oppression of the white race. Why should we not all pay for his free murder spree?

Qotd?: Do you give a damn about any trumpet playing band?


8/29/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: 245.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block vaccinating children to spread autism: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad will hold you in its arms

An atheist’s guide to the good life — Yup. This.

Cancer Becomes Me — I love, love, love this essay about being a cancer patient. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Most precise clock to watch tiniest ever time dilationsTime can now be divided into slivers hundreds of trillions of times smaller than a second, thanks to a pair of atomic clocks made from ytterbium that have just set a new record for precision.

Traffic Ghost HuntingSimulation: When the biggest problem with traffic is nothing at all. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

The Entire History of the World—Really, All of It—Distilled Into a Single Gorgeous Chart — Uh…

Paleo by Comparison: the Million-Year-Old Map — Interesting if more than a bit whacky.

Massive Himalayan gorge partly carved by Lake Erie-sized floodsWhen glacial dams upriver from the gorge failed, massive floods tore through it. Interesting reading, especially if you are familiar with the Missoula Flood.

Climate Change Archaeology — Interesting stuff from the real world of liberal “facts” and “data” where the ice is actually retreating.

Rich people are more likely to drive like assholesBy way of explanation, the authors wrote: “Upper-class individuals’ relative independence from others and increased privacy in their professions may provide fewer structural constraints and decreased perceptions of risk associated with committing unethical acts.” That is an excellent description of privilege in general.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know: TX Pols Knew What, When?That was the day I realized that God help me I hate rightwing Republicans. Hate them. Not what they do, but them personally. I know it’s wrong. But, if you’re willing to sacrifice a man and little children on the altar of morality and judgement then I chose to freakin’ hate you. How many children were they willing to sacrifice for a popular radio show? We don’t know, because the guy was 61 years old when he went to prison, so there could have been hundreds. Yup. Never can trust liberals because they don’t have a moral compass. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Welcome to the Age of Denial — This is as much about Republican political strategies of the past forty years as it is about any underlying cultural trends. Cultivating resentment, paranoia and deep counterfactuals for the sake of continually manufacturing more angry white men has been electorally successful but profoundly destructive to our society and culture. The contemporary GOP’s place in history will be one of deep, deep shame at best.

Republicans Move to the Center? Nope, They’re Crazier Than Ever[H]atred of reality itself, hatred of the unhappy truth that there are facts in this world that can’t be neatly arranged behind a worldview of rage and racial resentment

QotD?: Have you been a good boy?


8/23/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (sick)
Weight: 246.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing conservatives to enroll in Obamacare: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

[links] Link salad loves the halflings’ leaf

Richard Derus reviews Endurance — Another part of his Jay Lake Pre-Mortem Readathon. He seems to have liked the book.

Archaeologists Just Found the Oldest Board Game Tokens Ever — This is nifty as heck. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

Hyperactive Brain May Create “Near Death” VisionsA new study shows that even after cardiac arrest, the brain keeps on going. Light. More light.

Stem cells turned into cancer-killing immune cellsIn cases where immune therapy works, it could allow mass production of treatment.

Fossil Reveals Long-Lived Mammal Group’s SecretNew Jurassic find in China provides fresh evidence of early mammal evolution.

How to Build a Time Cloak with MirrorsA simple arrangement of switchable mirrors can create “holes in time” of almost any length.

Search for centuries-old galleon off Oregon coast begins anew near Manzanita — Arrrh, me hearties.

Scrapbook of early aeronautica (1783) — Oh, cool. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

DC-10 arrives at the Falls fire — Wow, this is a hell of a photo of a water bomber.

Tensioned Suspension — This be some cool art.

Scientist banned from revealing codes used to start luxury cars — (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Earth’s inner heat helps control Greenland’s iceDifferences in the Earth’s crust create hot and cold spots under the ice.

West Antarctica Warmed Quickly … 20,000 Years AgoThe modern meltdown of the Antarctic Ice Sheet mirrors the frozen continent’s big thaw after the last ice age ended 20,000 years ago, a new study finds. Amazing, the degrees even the climate itself will go to in order to support the liberal lie of climate change.

Yep, We’re Screwed: Top Ten Recent Climate Change Findings that should Scare You — Nothing to see here, citizen. Move along.

2 Trenton police detectives shot — Thank god for the NRA and the Republican party and their absolutist defense of your Second Amendment rights. Otherwise this shooter wouldn’t have been able to exercise his theoretical defense of essential civil liberties by wounding two police officers. But these daily shootings are a small price to pay for America’s gun owners to feel safer.

Obama-Impersonating Rodeo Clown Offered Political Asylum by Congressman-Impersonating Clown Steve StockmanQuoth Stockman: “Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if it’s speech they don’t agree with. From Molly Ivins to Louie Gohmert and every opinion between, Texans value free and open political speech.” Apparently Representative Stockman has never met any Republicans, ever listened to Rush Limbaugh, and was not alive during the Bush administration. The idea that conservatives value free speech and dissent in any form, let alone by comparison with liberals, doesn’t event begin to make the laugh test. Not to mention failing to meet any reality-based criteria whatsoever. Dixie Chicks, anyone? More of that just famed conservative intellectual honesty and self-awareness on display.

Three Republicans Who Opposed Sandy Relief Now Demand Disaster Aid For Arizona — Because being a conservative means never having to be intellectually honest. Nuance, donchaknow?

Congressman Doesn’t Believe White Collar Crime On Wall Street ExistsAt a town hall meeting in El Dorado Hills, California on Tuesday, a constituent asked McClintock for his “stance on Wall Street criminal practices.” The congressman responded, “Well first of all, for a criminal practice there has to be a gun. It’s pretty simple.” Your Republican party, ladies and gentlemen. It’s cretins like this who have a hammerlock on the American political process.

Santorum: Term ‘Middle Class’ Is ‘Marxism Talk’ — This is so stupid I cannot even begin to comprehend it. But, hey, Republicans!

QotD?: Is your mind clouded?


8/16/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 246.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing conservatives to enroll in Obamacare: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

[links] Link salad is still baffled by yesterday’s news

It was long after midnight when we got to unconditional love Lisa Costello talks about her feelings about the current stage in my cancer journey.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction – 30th Annual Collection — Go check this out. I’m in it.

The Decline and Fall of the Book Cover — (Via AH.)

REVIEW: Bared to You by Sylvia Day — Wow, what a review. Snarkalicious. (Thanks to Marta Murvosh.)

A penguin being tickled — I will die of teh cutez. (Thanks to David Goldman.)

Chinese Cuisine Patterns Revealed By Food Network AnalysisThe links between different regional cuisines in China become clear when recipes and ingredients are viewed as a kind of web, say computer scientists.

20 Ludicrous Things Said By Yoga Teachers — Snerk. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Molecular signals identified that let some organisms regrow lost headsManipulating the signals can produce a worm with a head at both ends. I’ve known some people like that.

Finding the Galactic Internet

Pale Blue Dot: An Alien View of EarthNASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab used to have just such a display with the full mosaic of photos posted up in an auditorium, says Hansen-Koharcheck. “And to show the whole thing it covered, oh, I don’t know, 12 or 14 feet,” she says — of mostly empty black space, with just a few pinpricks of light showing the planets. One of them was labeled Earth. “One of the guys that took care of that display told me one time that he was forever having to replace that picture,” says Hansen-Koharcheck, “because people would come up to look at it and they would always touch the Earth.” (Via David Goldman.)

Architecture: Designs for the Great Tower For London in 19th Century catalogue — A response to the Eiffel Tower? (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Clay Lacy, in his DC-7 “Super Snoopy”, races a dragster during the 1971 San Diego Cup airshow — This is a “wow” photo for me.

Hauling New Treasure Along the Silk RoadCenturies ago, the cargo on the Silk Road across Asia included spices and gems. Today, it’s likely to be computers and other electronics, moved by rail along an often-desolate 7,000-mile route. (Thanks to Dad.)

Arctic methane ‘time bomb’ could have huge economic costs — Man, those crazy liberals and the shit they get up to in order to try to hoax good conservative “true facts”. To think that an entire planet’s ecosystem and climate would cooperate in such chicanery, not to mention 99% of the scientists in the climate field. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or we might have been tricked into doing something.

Virginia governor GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli launches website that pushes for reinstatement of state’s anti-sodomy lawThe state attorney general also wants oral sex between consenting adults to be a felony even though a federal court struck down the state’s ‘Crimes Against Nature’ law in March. As Cuccinelli wants to make the private sex lives of every adult in Virginia a matter of public interest, I think he and his wife should lead the way with complete disclosure of their sexual practices. This is what it means to be a conservative, right?

Rise of the Warrior CopIs it time to reconsider the militarization of American policing? Sigh. (Via [info]danjite.)

George H.W. Bush Shaves Head In Solidarity With 2-Year-Old With Cancer — I don’t have a lot of use for Bush the elder. He helped enable the political and cultural disaster that was the Reagan years. He bears enormous responsibility for Dubya’s existence in many sense of that phrase. And Barbara Bush is one of the most manipulative, dishonest characters in late 20th century politics, all of Nancy Reagan’s petty vileness in sweet grandma drag. But nonetheless, I have to give props to Bush 41 for doing this.

QotD?: Ever had your lease on life renewed?


7/25/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 252.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block conducting Department of Justice investigations of white patriots: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg