February 24th, 2010


[links] Link salad plays at the hard case

Thousands of authors opt out of Google book settlement — The banal evil of Google, again.

Launch Pad 2010 Information: Application Window Opening Soon, Guest Instructor Announced — I did this two years ago. It was an awesome experience. Go check it out.

Enceladus is erupting!Bad Astronomy with an interesting article and some hellacious photography from Cassini.

Convair XB-36H — From the Department of Really Bad Ideas.

Non Sequitur nails the Tea Party — And it's not even a political comic...

The Birchers Are Real — and They’re Spectacular — More objective evidence that the conservative movement is insane. The John Birch Society is back in the mainstream.

Virginia lawmaker: Children with disabilities are God’s punishment to women who previously had abortions — Even more objective evidence that the conservative movement is insane. That this rhetoric is embraced, approved and gets votes is disgusting and profoundly inhumane. Sociopathic, even. I'd say "stay classy, GOP," but I don't have the heart to twit you guys on this piece of vile tripe. (Thanks to goulo.)

?otD: Who was the comic-paper idol who let you bend the rules?

Writing time yesterday: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (slept poorly)
This morning's weigh-in: 228.2
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 3/10
Currently reading: [between books]


[cancer] Side effects bingo, department of signaling errors and self-tuning

Many of my chemo side effects can be ascribed to neural signaling errors. Peripheral neuropathy, cold sensitivity, various other physical and mental effects. What I've come to consider my two primary side effects are unrelenting fatigue, and intermittent but serious lower GI distress. What I've been very lucky on so far is a nearly absolute lack of nausea, and an ability to maintain my baseline body weight.

However, in the last week or so, my appetite has begun to meaningfully decline. It's not so much a sense that things taste bad, as I just don't want to eat them. This is not a good leading indicator for weight maintenance, and possibly also bodes poorly for future nausea control. I seem to be retreating more and more into the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). Which is not the end of the world, and will keep me going, but wow. Much of what I still want to eat is complicated by the fact that the lower GI stress tends to compound my otherwise intermittent lactose intolerance, so I get pushed off milk, cheese and yogurt due to the explosive consequences of actually consuming them.

In other news, I had a small milkshake yesterday for the first time in years. Because it did appeal to me. Consistent? No. But neither are the side effects. It's quite a curve over the time from infusion session to infusion session. As I've said before, managing this is like driving a car on ice. Every day is a bit different, and every cycle has a somewhat different rhythm.

Also, I slept poorly last night. Given that I slept well the previous three nights, this is not a disaster, but it doesn't improve things either. The fine art of tuning myself, someday I will be a master at it.


[politics] A little trip down memory lane for bipartisanship

There's a lot of whining from the GOP lately about bipartisanship around HCR and other issues, including the (often used by the GOP in the past) reconciliation process to pass a bill through the Senate without invoking cloture. The liberal media dutifully covers this without much analysis, and millions of conservatives dutifully get angry at these unprecedented uses of majority power.

Unlike the entire conservative movement of 2010, I vividly recall the Bush years. There was this little thing called "the Permanent Majority". Anyone else remember it? Or Trent Lott and "the Nuclear Option" in the Senate. Remember that? How about "Unilateral Bipartisanship", admittedly a 1998 phenomenon, as Democrat Barney Frank referred to Republican Henry Hyde's characterization of a a strict party line vote on Clinton's impeachment as "bipartisan". But the spirit was certainly present during the Bush years.

Hey, Republicans. You'd better be damned glad the Democrats are too consensus oriented to treat you the way your majorities treated them. It might be nice if you could remember back past the last election cycle, too, when bitching about Obama's deficits, foreign wars and Wall Street bailouts. Because those cardinal sins? Committed by Republicans, first and bigger. Just like majoritarian rule was all the rage when you were in the majority. I know, it's hard, but really, you used to run the world. Permanent Majority? Remember?