July 30th, 2009


[links] Link salad stumbles into Thursday, apologizes

First Contact: A Talk with Ursula K. Le GuinThe New Yorker interviews Le Guin. (Snurched from Scrivener's Error.)

Another Word on Word Count — Agent Caren Johnson on genres, structure and word count, including this little gem comparing SF to mystery: There is a set formula for science fiction, westerns and horror as well. I can't speak for westerns and horror, but a comment like that leads me to conclude that Caren hasn't read much science fiction published in the last forty years, at least. (Via the Twitterfeed of @colleenlindsay.)

The toilet mystery remains unresolved thus far: [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] — calendula_witch swears she is innocent.

Downgrade: 1943Shorpy, with a photo from the much harsher days of railroading.

Boko HaramLanguage Log on Nigerian Islamic radicals and framing. I was struck by this phrase in the article, a quote from the faction's leader: "[Western] education 'spoils the belief in one God'." That's an attitude these Islamic extremists share with a wide swathe of American Christians, unfortunately for everyone involved.

Scott Adams claims that "First, 80% of healthcare costs go toward chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease." — I have no idea if this is true (and he provides no supporting cites), but anecdotally, since the first onset of my cancer in April, 2008, more healthcare dollars have been spent on me than the previous 43 years of my life combined.

?otD: I'll shout it out, who killed the Kennedys?

Body movement: 10 minutes of stretching and meditation; 30 minutes on stationary bike
This morning's weigh-in: n/a (forgot)
Currently reading: Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold

Originally published at jlake.com.


[travel] Forthcoming peripateses

Now that I'm not under the chemo gun, I'm back on the usual merry-go-round. I plan to be in Seattle tomorrow night for the Clarion West party. (Unless the freeway traffic is once again apocalyptically bad.) Next Tuesday I jet off to California to connect with calendula_witch, so we can head for Worldcon on Thursday. Back in California the following week, where I'll stick around to attend a wedding with her, then home. Later in the month, off to Omaha.

See some, all or none of you here and there about the country.

Originally published at jlake.com.


[personal] Flushing out the case of the missing toilet tank lid

Despite garyomaha's observation that it was so hot in Portland yesterday that someone was clearly looking for a tank top, the true culprit behind the toilet gnomes' theft of my toilet tank lid has been flushed out.

The case unrolled when I talked to my Dad. As it happens, I've been having some work done here at Nuevo Rancho Lake (not in my upstairs bathroom) by his usual handyman. Dad had asked the handyman to replace the upstairs toilet without mentioning this to me in advance. This resulted in the handyman taking the lid off for some handyman reason, then realizing he didn't have all the required parts for a new toilet on hand. However, by then he'd put the lid in his truck, and simply forgot.

All in all, far less mysterious than some of the more baroque theories advanced in my comments section. Though I still suspect csinman of being involved somehow. (calendula_witch is in the clear because I know how heavy her luggage was when she left yesterday.)

Originally published at jlake.com.