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[links] Link salad jets out to San Diego

The Story Coaster — Hahahah. (Via David Goldman.)

Lakeside Backstory — More on the movie, and me, from Waterloo Productions.

Rev-e-rie – Jay Lake, Cancer, and God #4: Prevailing — My friend UMC pastor Dave Raines continues his meditations on life and death.

How Doctors Die — Yeah. Sigh. (Via Ellen Eades.)

Finding Cancer Cells in the BloodTechnologies that can pull tumor cells from patients’ blood are giving researchers an unprecedented look at cancer.

How Smart Dust Could Spy On Your BrainIntelligent dust particles embedded in the brain could form an entirely new form of brain-machine interface.

Hawkmoths zap bats with sonic blasts from their genitals — I’ve been on dates like that. (Via David Goldman.)

Design Drawing for Avanti — Oooooh.

Time-lapse video of Interstate 84 highway repaving project — (Via Lisa Costello.)

T. rex leaves tooth in would-be lunch’s tail, paleontologists find it

New Map Shows Where Nature Protects U.S. CoastCoastal habitats like reefs and marshes protect people from natural disasters—in the right locations.

Hunger Games, U.S.A.Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable. Conservatives have convinced themselves that there is a “culture of dependency”, and that breaking the cycle of that culture is for the public good. Deep cruelty cloaked in high minded policy is still deep cruelty.

QotD?: Going to Comic-Con?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 6.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 249.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block supplying black kids with Skittles: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

[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





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








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.

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 redacts its title

My Hugo votes 2013, part 1, novellas — Including a tepid review of my nominated novella “The Stars Do Not Lie.”

Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2013 — Including yours truly.

The Mom From ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Finally Speaks — The Man in the Yellow Hat answers. Hahahahaha. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Could Superman Punch Someone Into Space? — Because science! (Via David Goldman.)

The Science of Familiar Strangers: Society’s Hidden Social Network

Volkswagen XL1, wheeling a 262-mpg orb: Motoramic Drives — Wow.

Redesigned Window Stops Sound But Not Air

No Place Like Home GPS Shoes — Just click your heels three times… Really.

One grower’s grapes of wrath — The national raisin reserve? Uh, yeah.

The Unsung Heroes of the Crash Landing in San Francisco

The Real Reason Behind Public Smoking Bans — Hmm. Someone has an ax to grind, methinks.

Big Five personality traits — Huh. I never knew this. I’m pretty far along the axis on all five of these.

Federal judge temporarily blocks new Wisconsin abortion law — That’s right. Can’t have the government coming between you and your doctor! Unless you’re a woman, of course.

The lies Christianists tell themselves — In item 2 of this post, Slacktivist Fred Clark takes on the homophobic lying from conservative Christians about the overturn of DOMA. My Bible says quite clearly, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” I guess that Commandment doesn’t count for Christianists talking about gay people or the government or women’s health.

Report: Bin Laden Wore a Cowboy Hat to “Avoid Detection From Above” — Man, I got nothing.

Insurer Refuses To Cover Gun-Carrying Kansas SchoolsAn insurance company based in Iowa has refused to renew coverage for Kansas schools that permit teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms on campus, the Des Moines Register reported on Sunday. When conservative craze collides with reality. I’m sure there will soon be a ‘Second Amendment fix’ to insurance regulations to put a stop to the anti-American notion that guns make schools less safe. Because free market!

QotD?: Did you notice the mistake?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (vacation)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (away from home)
Weight: n/a (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block building mandatory gay marriage halls: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

[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:

The synchronized shopping cart brigade

Folks from the assisted living facility

Patriotic pickup

Uncle Sam and Abe Lincoln

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.

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.

[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, gentleman of leisure edition


As discussed yesterday, today is my first day out of work. I’ll be out of work for the rest of my life. This continues to feel very strange to me. I woke up this morning melancholy and feeling off. I have no schedule anymore. (Well, I do today on account of an early therapy appointment, but the principle holds.) I still have the things I need to do — exercise, blog, so forth — and the things I want to do — write, read, hang with Lisa Costello anc [info]the_child and my friends and family. I just need to adapt to the now much more fluid structure.

At a minimum, this means my morning blog posts don’t have to be finished before 6 am Pacific, which is the time of day at which I have started work for lo these many years.


[info]mlerules and Team E— came over yesterday afternoon for another basement cleaning party. We have perhaps one more to come. Vast quantities of archive material were boxed for [info]rarelylynne. The library has been rough-sorted for giveaway, send-to-Powells, keep-for-Child, and Jay-cannot-get-rid-of. We have maybe one more round of serious basement cleaning to do before it’s mostly settled.

Another part of my life boxed and put away forever.

More on Books

As mentioned, the books have been divided into several parts. Like most authors and fans, I have been obsessed with books all my life. At my high point, I probably had 5-6,000 books in the house. There have been three culls since 2000. What’s going on now is the fourth cull. I will hold on to a fairly limited number of books because I want to read or reread them. Everything else is going to various destination. My author copies are being divided as well, between [info]the_child and her mother, Lisa Costello, and the archive. Overage will either be given to interested friends or donated to OSFCI for future convention bag stuffers.

Again, a big part of my life being boxed and put away forever.


I am still driving the Genre car. This would be a 2002 Chrysler Sebring convertible with about 101,000 miles on it. I only drive in the mornings if I can possibly help it, because my increasing fatigue and loopiness as the day goes on increases my risk on the road later in the day. I expect by the fall to never be driving again. The plan has been to let [info]the_child learn to drive on this vehicle (she turns 16 in October), and then simply give it to her as a first car.

So the last few days I’ve been jonesing to sell the Sebring off and buy a gently used first generation BMW Z3. Which [info]the_child would like a whole lot more than she likes my Sebring, plus with the original 1.9 liter motor, they’re actually fairly slow, and with no back seat, she will be a lot less likely to be driving around with a carload of drunken friends or off getting jiggy in the car of a Saturday night.

Excuses, excuses.

This is all a big giant piece of WTFery. My backbrain is looking for positive steps. My frontbrain is saying, uh, no, you don’t have the money and even if you did it’s a stupid idea.

It’s amazing, the stuff my brain and I come up with.

Regorafenib, second series

We are now into the second week of the second three-week series of my good friend Regorafenib. So far, so okay. At this point in the first series, I was pretty damned miserable. We’re doing much better at both anticipating and managing side effects this time around. It’s also possible I’ve already peaked on those, and this is me adapting. Medical opinion is split on whether the peak comes during first series or second series. Go me?

By the way, to deal with the foot pain, which is specific to my soles, we have found a terrific product called Icy Feet. Basically, these are sandal shaped blue ice packs. They’re made for people with plantar fasciitis, and for athletes with foot problems. But they work like gangbusters for the kind of pain that Regorafenib inflicts on me. Check ’em out.

Disability Filing Process

Still going through the disability filing process. What a circus. As mentioned before, I’ll have a lot to say about this in the fullness of time. Last night I learned a weird thing. For SSDI, treatment effects are not considered a qualifying disability.

Think about that for a moment. When I was on FOLFIRI a couple of years ago, I was sleeping 12-13 hours per day, spending 2-3 hours per day on the toilet, could not do simple math, and had trouble focusing to read, among other things. All of those were treatment effects from the drugs. I never felt the cancer at all. Yet according to the Social Security Administration, I would not have been considered disabled at that point.

How in the hell does that make any sense? Another example of the punitive nature of our disability system. American society is so bloody Calvinistic: if you’ve had the misfortune to fall ill, that is a judgment of God that you are unworthy and must be punished. I’d prefer a little old fashioned compassion plus some common sense, thank you very much. We’d all be better off for it.

[links] Link salad has no responsibility

Outlining — Author Janna Silverstein on the evergreen topic of outlining.

Jay Lake, Cancer, and God #3: Grief and hope — Another installment from my friend Dave Raines.

Physicists Discover the Secret of Quantum Remote Control

Interstellar gas allows chemical reactions caused by quantum tunnelingReactions that are otherwise impossible become more likely as temperatures drop. Because science!

Carbon from nuclear tests could help fight poachers

Locating Indus Civilization Pyrotechnological Craft Production — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

15-year-old student invents flashlight that runs on human body heat

Paravelo Flying Bicycle Not Just Pie In The Sky — (Via David Goldman.)

The End of Car Culture

The Immortal Life of the Enron E-mailsA decade after the Enron scandal, the company’s internal messages are still helping to advance data science and many other fields. Ah, Enron. The instantiation of the conservative ideal of industry self-regulation. I’m glad we’re getting something good out of that mess.

Update on Justin Bieber’s Monkey

Won’t someone think of the insensitives?Every time sexual harassment at conventions comes up, somebody trots out the red herring that it’s just too hard for certain persons to know when they’re being polite and when they’re being rude, and it’s just unfair to ask these poor insensitive people to read the fickle minds of the lovely mysterious creatures they’re attracted to.

Is Prop 8 merely dead, or really most sincerely dead? — I have to admit, it’s kind of fun to watch the religious bigots flame out. In the world of blue skies and actual people, there is only one side to this issue, the same way there’s only one side to flat Earthism or Creationism. Everything else is willful ignorance combined with intellectual dishonesty, leavened by a heady mix of self-valorizing victim posturing and deeply false moral certainty.

DOMA, Prop. 8 and marriage: An anthropologist’s view

Tim Huelskamp Introduces Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage — You know, if there’s a wrong side to a moral or ethical issue, Republicans will always find it and cling to it.

How Internet Censorship Really Works

The NRA’s Orwellian Games On Guns And The Mentally Ill — Like pretty much all conservative causes these days, the only way to win is to lie.

Republicans Are Sabotaging Obamacare by Keeping the Public in the Dark About BenefitsIncreased public knowledge and understanding will get in the way of the GOP agenda. It’s the GOP way. They can’t win on the merits of their positions, so they lie and cheat. Hence everything from voter suppression to the distortions about the ACA.

History Repeating Itself: Discriminatory Voting Laws

Why we know Walmart isn’t paying $12.40/hour — This is smart.

War On the UnemployedIs life too easy for the unemployed? You may not think so, and I certainly don’t think so. But that, remarkably, is what many and perhaps most Republicans believe. And they’re acting on that belief: there’s a nationwide movement under way to punish the unemployed, based on the proposition that we can cure unemployment by making the jobless even more miserable. As I’ve said a number of times before, a decent working definition of conservatism is that it is the dread fear that someone, somewhere is enjoying an unearned benefit at your expense. Many Republican positions can be successfully analyzed through this lens, most definitely including the GOP approach to unemployment.

How the Supreme Court just killed off the GOPIn the short term, elections will continue to be close. And the Republican party will continue to find majorities in some states thorough racial messaging and voter suppression. But every election cycle fought on that basis means another lost cohort of potential Republican voters, and another exodus of party reformers fed up with having to explain away the bigotry that they’re constantly tarred with. The dam will eventually break, and there may be no reformers left by the time it does. America should be so lucky. It would be good to have a functioning conservative party instead of the toxic, hate-fueled boil the GOP has become.

QotD?: When did you go to work today?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (work transition, etc.)
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 247.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block attempting to secure minority voting rights despite the recent Supreme Court ruling: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg; Snuff by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad hears the voice of reason, disregards

Iain Banks dies of cancer aged 59Author Iain Banks has died aged 59, two months after announcing he had terminal cancer, his family has said. Sigh.

An oil painting of Green — By artist Lindsey Look. This is cool.

Jade de Jay Lake — An apparently favorable review of the French translation of Green.

Almost All the Way Home From the Stars is now available as a trade paperback — Collaborative fiction from me and [info]specficrider.

Unpacking the “Real Writers Have Talent” Myth — Yup. This. I’ve said for years you need some combination of talent, persistence and luck-facilitated-through-professionalism, but you don’t need all three. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

What Game of Thrones Season 3 Did Better — And Worse — Than the Book

Vintage Buses — Ooh. Though when it comes to buses, I always wanted one of these.

Human-scale invisibility cloak unveiled — I see what they did there, with that headline.

100 years after ore boat disappeared in Lake Superior storm, searchers locate wreck

Department of Unusual Ordnance Finds — Huh. Increment charges. Who knew? (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Old Opportunity Mars rover makes rock discovery — Ah, clay.

Waiting on new climate deal ‘will set world on a path to 5C warming’International Energy Agency chief economist says rising emissions make limiting increase to 2C ‘extremely challenging’ As always, the real world doesn’t conform to conservative ideology. History will be baffled that one country’s minority political party whose ideology is based on blatant and knowing counterfactuals managed to hold the entire word hostage and cause trillions of dollars worth of damage in the process.

Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars’ Op-Ed “The debate about marriage equality often centers, however discretely, on an appeal to the Bible,” the authors wrote. “Unfortunately, such appeals often reflect a lack of biblical literacy on the part of those who use that complex collection of texts as an authority to enact modern social policy.” That’s the Republican party sorted right there. Too bad no one in conservative circles ever listens to reality-based messages like this.

Civil Disobedience on a Turkish Game Show — That is some serious courage. (Via [info]danjite.)

I’m Not A Conservative And You Shouldn’t Be One EitherWhat if the problem with your political party is that the policies it advocates are bad? You can’t fix that problem by “rebranding” the same platform or finding younger, less-white candidates to promote it. You definitely can’t fix it by leaning into your failed policies and becoming more extreme.

Its the Corporations, Stupid: Why we are 2nd Amendment Fundamentalists but the 4th Amendment doesn’t Count — Actually, it’s the conservatives, who will hold the line on the 2nd Amendment no matter how many tens of thousands of people die every year, but otherwise believe you can’t use your civil liberties if you’re dead, and are willing to legislate away the entire rest of the Bill of Rights for fear of Muslims in America’s bathroom.

QotD?: Got any good advice?

Writing time yesterday: 0.75 hours (WRPA)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 246.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block creating tornados for political distraction: 0
Currently reading: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

[photos] A Citroën 2CV Cabriolet on SE Hawthorne here in Portland

Spotted this past Friday, a Citroën 2CV Cabriolet on SE Hawthorne here in Portland. I had no idea these were ever made in a cabriolet version, though I’m pretty sure this is an aftermarket conversion. Apparently from these guys. Cool as hell.



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 plays croquet behind white-washed walls and drink its tea at four

Jay Lake 2013 Hugo Nomination — A short video clip from Norwescon of my nomination being read out. (Thanks to [info]corwynofamber.)

So…I Bought A Firetruck — I love this. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Great British class calculatorPeople in the UK now fit into seven social classes, a major survey conducted by the BBC suggests.

The Paper-and-Pencil Cosmological CalculatorEver struggled with the problem of converting redshift into parsecs, your worries are over thanks to a new cosmological distance chart based on the very latest data. For all your science geekery needs.

The Cicadas Are Coming …Hungry?

The Falsity of Living Fossils

Least visited countries in the world — Oh, to have the time and money…

Ponce de León, Exposed — Ah, history.

Nothing personal: The questionable Myers-Briggs test — (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Climate Maverick to Quit NASA — Weird choice of words in this headline about James Hansen.

40% of Pak youth think Islamic law is best for country: Survey — I just don’t understand how some people think. Especially religious conservatives, in any culture.

The NRA’s Next Assault on Gun Control — Because neither your safety nor mine matter a whit to the people in the gun culture. Nothing matters to them but maximum guns, at any rationalization.

QotD?: What are all your favorite fruits?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (WRPA, specifically critique)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 243.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block building solar arrays to undermine the American fossil fuel industry: 0
Currently reading: Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

[links] Link salad wipes the sand from its eyes

Ballard Street on writers and their inspiration — Hahah.

Giant Squid, Anyone?Scrivener’s Error with a number of interesting observations on publishing.

Bacon ExplosionJersey Girl in Portland on our recent culinary adventures. Mmm.

Freakishly large goldfish found in Lake Tahoe; Researchers worry about impact on native species

1964 ‘Popemobile’ visits Tacoma museum

Roko’s basilisk — Okay… (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Pistorius case brings South Africa gun culture to global spotlight — Sigh.

Old Yellow Stain: A Tragedy In One Act — Jim Wright on the decline of Senator John McCain.

QotD?: Sleep much?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (Research for the current non-fiction project.)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (cold and wet, not walking with my mild head cold)
Weight: n/a (out of town)
Number of FEMA troops on my block covering up high crimes and misdemeanors in Benghazi: 0
Currently reading: Mort by Terry Pratchett

[personal] Valentine’s Day Miscellanea

My friends in the Omaha Beach Party sent me some Family Guy boxer shorts. Which [info]the_child put on and started dancing around the house singing, “I’m too sexy for my shorts” while doing it Gangnam style.


Oy and vey.

Meanwhile, yesterday out on the street, I took a photo of a classic Hudson in pretty deep rat shape. Still a gorgeous car.


Also yesterday, the last of my Steri-Strips fell off. My surgical wound is healed and closed and clean. This means I can go back to Common Ground for a soak with my friends. W00t! Plus I look like a baseball with the seams plucked…


I hope all this gives you a Valentine’s Day warm fuzzy.

Photos © 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 hauls the anchor up and leaves the land astern

Grendel as Grinch — I always liked, “Go and tell Lord Grendel that the tide is on the turn…” (Via Steve Buchheit.)

The Santaland Diaries — David Sedaris with the best Christmas radio commentary ever.

Literary moist aversionLanguage Log with some fairly deep linguistic neepery on what I consider to be one of the silliest topics going.

DUI Christmas Float[H]ow fast would a parade have to be going before it would cease to be a “parade” and turn into a “high-speed chase”?

Feds Requiring ‘Black Boxes’ in All Motor Vehicles

Earthworm guts become factory for nanoparticlesFed the right elements, worm “livers” make quantum dots. Which suggests some really interesting SFnal story possibilities.

Researchers: Amazon deforestation is devastating microbial communities

Evidence shows starvation did not cause saber-tooth cat extinction

Erratic Environment May Be Key to Human Evolution

Limbo — Best healthcare system in the world. Right. Read this and tell me again how good we are? ACA might not solve this particular problem, but it’s a step in sort-of-the-right direction. Single payer would be a much better step, and someday we’ll wake up from the irrational conservative death grip on our national decision making process and figure out what the rest of the industrialized West figured out decades ago, but right now? US healthcare is a disgrace.

Fox News says Fred Phelps’ “God Hates F*gs” hate group is “left wing” — Right. And conservatives wonder why the rest of us think they’re nuts. Fred Phelps is the id of the GOP, has been for years. Why is FOX even allowed to call itself “news”? I could call myself an astronaut, but that doesn’t mean I get to fly in space.

Seeking Answers in Genome of Gunman

More Guns, Less Crime: A Dialogue — Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jeff Goldberg talking about guns. Goldberg, as usual with conservatives, is missing the point. Mass shootings by the ‘crazies’ are headline grabbers, but almost 100 people a day are shot by husbands, friends, lovers, parents, children. Guns make it far easier to kill than any other means, in a single moment of passion. That is the problem as much or more than anything else in the whole mess. If you can’t accept that basic logical premise, then you’re in deep denial for sake of your love of firearms and aren’t prepared to engage in a socially responsible discussion of national gun policy.

Newspaper sparks outrage for publishing names, addresses of gun owners — I have mixed feelings about this. Emotionally, I’m all for it. Gun owners scare me a lot more than criminals. Criminals basically aren’t interested in me, but anyone having a bad day and burning to take out their frustrations could be packing heat, and I could be the guy who took “their” parking space the day they lose control. (Back when I was an apartment dweller, I was in fact once threatened with shooting by a gun-owning neighbor for exactly that infraction. People who own guns have a lot more faith in their self-control than I have in their self-control.) But as a matter of social policy, privacy is important.

?otD: Will you be back again?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 12.5 hours (11.0 hours fitful, 1.5 hours napping)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on the stationary bike)
Weight: 211.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block teaching critical thinking to the children of conservatives: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks