June 21st, 2011


[links] Link salad rings solstice bells

The voting poll for the Endurance caption contest is now open

Best Science Fiction, Fantasy Books? You Tell Us — NPR asks your opinion. Go vote! (Snurched from the mighty Daniel Abraham.)

The Justice League of Bulgarian Socialists — (Thanks, I think, to my brother.)

How Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Unearthed Lost Photos From American GraffitiA combination of crowdsourcing and machine intelligence just found a lost treasure in the Magnum Photo archive, a technique that could have wide application.

War Evolves With Drones, Some Tiny as Bugs

Mining Your Smart Phone for Health DataA new app analyzes mobile-phone activity for warning signs of disease flare-ups.

Radical therapy sees injured US soldier regrow muscle — I love living in the future.

My Ex-Gay Friend — A tough one.

Endowed by their Creator with certain WHAT? — Some fun linguistic neepery regarding the United States' Declaration of Independence

NBC airs Pledge of Allegiance without "under God" — Creeping Shariah!

Why I'm suing Georgia over immigration law — A principled Republican official speaks out. (Thanks to [info]shsilver.)

McKinsey releases methodology; firm concedes study not predictive — Gosh, conservative lies about healthcare? In writing? What's amazing isn't the lies, it's that McKinsey actually got called to account by the allegedly liberal media.

David Mamet’s Right-Wing Conversion[Mamet is] Quoting Deepak Chopra, of all people, as saying, "Our thinking and our behavior are always in anticipation of a response. It [sic] is therefore fear-based,: he seizes the chance to ask, "Is it too much to suggest that this quote contains the most basic prescription of liberalism, 'Stop Thinking'?" Like so many conservative critiques of liberalism, this is pure projection. The Big Lie from another angle. My most basic working definition of contemporary American conservativism is that it is founded on the morbid fear that someone, somewhere might be enjoying an undeserved benefit at one's own expense. That, in a nutshell is fear.

The Thirty Years' War ... — Ta-Nehisi Coates comparing the American Civil War with the Thirty Years' War. Plus a money quote from the Vice-President of the Confederacy which pretty much puts paid to the whole 'Civil War wasn't about slavery' apologia so beloved of modern conservatives.

How Today's Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality — Some inconvenient truths from the real world.

?otD: Will you praise the not-so-distant sister sun?

Writing time yesterday: 0.25 hours (WRPA)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Weight: 228.8
Currently (re)reading: A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin


[cancer] Sliding out of chemo session three of twelve

Yesterday off the pump was actually tougher than Sunday. Which seems odd at one level. On the other hand, I wasn't napping, I was working. And I am still on the Zyprexa.

Balancing Zyprexa and Lorazepam is interesting. Likewise balancing my lower GI meds. There's a risk of a rapid swing from severe constipation to violently loose stool. So I work at keeping everything in line. Basically, it's like balancing on a ball. Too much one way or the other, and wham.

Also, I continue to lose hair. Gave up on the beard last night, and shaved off the ragged remnants. My mustache is holding out for a better severance package, I think, but its time is almost at hand as well. I haven't been clean shaven since 1990. Ah, milestones.

Further news on the plus side is that my CEA levels are trending down with the chemo. This is suggestive that my tumor is responding in the desired manner to the drugs. Might make surgery a little easier, not to mention validating the current course of treatment.

I went in yesterday for my Neulasta shot to deal with the immune system crashes. This drug lists for $20,000 per dose, though I have no idea what the insurance company's contracted rate is. I realize that a whole swathe of Americans are hysterically allergic to reforming the healthcare finance system, but I can recommend a trip through the bowels of the insurance payments process, or even better, a severe medical crisis without coverage at all to straighten that right out. I suspect a lot of folks would have a Damascene conversion when smacked with the reality of healthcare in America over their Galtian free market fantasies.

(Of course, a significant number of HCR opponents don't seem to understand that Medicare is publicly funded healthcare, so it's not exactly a well-informed opposition. That's what happens when you get your news from Beck and Limbaugh — like Rick Blaine come to Casablanca to take the waters, you are sadly misinformed.)

On the plus side, I feel pretty good relative to the last two chemos. And I'm finding silver linings in the schedule slip. I was able to attend my parents' 40th wedding anniversary party in good order, and I will also be making the Locus Awards in Seattle next week. This impinges on my trip to Omaha with [info]the_child. Unlike United Airlines, which was completely inflexible and unsupportive of my medically-induced travel problems, American Airlines really came through on forgiving the ticket change fees and argle-bargling a good fare. So kudos to them.

So I wend my way through this week, recovering slowly. [info]the_child and her Mother are were to Massachusetts for a week last night to visit family, so Nuevo Rancho Lake will be as quiet as I am.

The schedule going forward is the Locus Awards, then one more chemo, then Omaha, then Readercon, then surgery, then Renovation/Worldcon, then a straight shot of eight more chemos. That's pretty much me sorted through year's end.