September 29th, 2009


[links] Link salad for a Nebraska autumn morning

Fort Marion WPA travel poster — I just love this art. From Vintagraph.

Why women have sex — Um, really?

Photo of Samuel Cody, 1911, ready for flight — Now that's aviation. From x-planes.

Commercial Supply Rocket Ready for Lift Off — Woo hoo!

Notes & Queries 09/28/09Centauri Dreams with a fascinating roundup of space science tidbits.

Short-term stress stops cancer — In mice. Maybe. Still...

This Modern World on the Obama is a Nazi riff — It would be funny if it weren't so sadly true. The American Right has lost what little it had left of moral authority and intellectual consistency to stupid rhetorical games.

?otD: Who done it?

Body movement: 65 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 5.75
This morning's weigh-in: n/a (traveling)
Currently reading: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman

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[cancer] An interim update, in which our hero does nothing much

icedrake has pointed out that I haven't mentioned the cancer lately. He's absolutely right. This isn't me in denial or hiding, it is truly a case of not much going on. As regular readers know, I had a set of scans back in July, when we were expecting to head into chemotherapy. Those scans revealed that the masses in my liver and right lung had not grown as expected, which makes the diagnosis of metastatic disease more uncertain. Unfortunately, there's no alternate diagnosis yet.

So I'm on a three-month scan-and-hold cycle for now. What this means is that I have a PET/CT scan on 10/22, which happens to be the_child's twelfth birthday. I'll have my oncology consult on 10/27, which will most likely result in another three-month scan-and-hold, or possibly trigger chemo. This situation could prevail for quite some time, unless and until we come up with an alternate diagnosis. Or maybe not. If I've learned anything, it's that the whole cancer experience is remarkably fluid.

I haven't posted about it lately because there hasn't been much to post. The Fear is back on the horizon, like a coming storm, but this time it's a squall. All the scary stuff is still out there, in spades, I've just grown used to it. The East African Plains Ape is an adaptable beast, and can become accustomed to anything. Even this. I've also become a lot less annoyed about being unsure of my forward planning — basically, I'm at risk of dropping most or all of my balls in any given six-month period with little warning. Well, ok then.

So I'll be going back to my therapist in October, to help me handle the Fear, and leaning all the more on calendula_witch as the scan and consult dates approach. Watch this space for more details.

Originally published at


[books] Madness of Flowers gets a star from PW

Madness of Flowers cover

Madness of Flowers has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Readers unfamiliar with 2006's Trial of Flowers will be baffled by this sequel; those who have read the former are likely to be both delighted and flabbergasted by the latter. The City Imperishable is the decadent relic of a magical empire in which human and numinal forces struggled until the Old Gods were almost forgotten — but this familiar-sounding background doesn't set up a predictable heroic fantasy yarn. The city's diverse inhabitants, including demigods and manmade dwarves, are subject to violent physical and moral transformations, and Lake's lushly energetic writing pulls readers through startling developments. Major concerns this time include bloody political intrigue, a blockade by corsairs and an expedition to the North that may lead to the city's rebirth or its doom. The result is exuberantly odd, melodramatically ironic and dangerously wonderful.

Originally published at


[personal] Siiiiick

This afternoon I have come down with all the harbingers of a solid fall cold. Scratchy throat, a bit of postnasal drip, mild to moderate headache, burgeoning lassitude, and a serious drop in both attention span and IQ. I finally had to leave a major meeting at work and stumble back to the hotel, with a stop for sickie supplies. This has me missing a big business dinner tonight.

Been poking email and blogging until it feels sane enough to try to sleep. Which would be, erm, just about now, give or take another ten or fifteen minutes.

(It's so swell, being sick and alone in a hotel room in a distant city.)

Originally published at