December 30th, 2009


[links] Link salad eyes the turning of the year

Metamora of Palatka: 1902Shorpy with a classic Florida photo that could have been shot in any number of places in the tropical world.

x-planes with an old print of the Graf Zeppelin — Mmm.

Handcrafted wooden toys of recently extinct animals — I think this one speaks for itself. (Snurched from

Freakonomics on a Russian plan to send apes to Mars — Money shot: Any monkeys sent into space will be supervised by robots.

Top Republican Myths about the Crotch Bomber Affair — Juan Cole debunks Reps. Pete Hoekstra and Peter King and Sen. Joe Lieberman. Admittedly, debunking Republicans (and Lieberman) is generally about like debunking the Society for the Preservation of Gravity, but millions of people take this nonsense seriously.

75 Republican 73 Republican and 2 Democratic congressmen want Congress to pass a resolution condemning people for saying "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" — And people wonder why I view faith through a political lens, when this crap is what our elected officials spend their time and resources on.

?otD: Yule or Noel?

Body movement: n/a (60 minute urban walk forthcoming)
Hours slept: 6.0
This morning's weigh-in: 224.0
Currently reading: Living With Ghosts by Kari Sperring


[contests] We have a winner

The latest caption contest voting poll has produced a winner, Kyle Cassidy. His winning entry, with a runaway 20% of the vote:

Nov 26 2009

Mr Lake, the implants will work as we discussed, but it's my personal belief that no one will take you seriously as a supervillan in that hat

Photo © 2009 M. Lake, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Kyle, you have scored an ARC of Pinion and a fresh-off-the-press copy of Death of a Starship.


[personal] This and that, and an old year fading

Walked up Twin Peaks this morning here in San Francisco. For various reasons, this will almost certainly be the last time I make that walk from the Witchnest. We're out to the coast for a few days tomorrow, then I'm home to Nuevo Rancho Lake and chemotherapy, while calendula_witch's lease is up soon and she will likely be moving on from this particular address long before I'm free to travel again. It was very good of my lungs to check in and represent on this walk — two or three days ago, I wouldn't have bet they could handle it. Only a little off pace, too, and I made it all the way up without stopping for breath. Saw one skunk, smelled another, stopped to take some night shots with the big camera. We'll see what I got.

calendula_witch, markferrari and I are taking the_child to the Natural History Museum at the California Academy of Science this morning. That's close enough to the Witchnest to be a nice walk, but in the interests of managing my energy, we're going to be profligate and drive. I'll be making lunch for the four of us after, then taking the_child to the airport for her flight home to Portland and her mom.

Tomorrow we're heading for the coast to spend time with calendula_witch's brilliant aunt, the European-American artist Susan Dutton, possibly dropping off the grid completely until Saturday evening, as both Internet and cell access are uncertain where we're going. If I drop off the Internet for a couple of days, don't worry that I've been eaten by a grue. (Unless, of course, I have been eaten by a grue, but presumably calendula_witch would spread the word in that case.)

Otherwise I hope to get a year-in-review post up this evening or tomorrow morning. Likewise, blzblack, cathshaffer, and daveraines have been discussing Faith with me in comments over here in such a way that I want to reframe some of my basic stance on this. I owe the three of them a much richer and more thoughtful response than time has permitted me these past couple of days, so watch for a post there as well.

As for the 900 pound gorilla in my world right now, chemotherapy, well... I'm just living my life right now. A week from Friday, I go down the rabbithole until July. I'm scared spitless, determined to be strong, and I know I will win. For the most part, I've been keeping the worries, depressions and fears at bay, as well as the Fear. (Which has, frankly, been much less of a monster for me since I've gotten down to the nuts-and-bolt details...) It's out there, it's real, but I'm enjoying my child, my love and my vacation in California before I jump into that pool of toxic waste.

What's on your mind for the new year? What are you doing to ring out the old?