May 13th, 2012


[links] Link salad celebrates its moms

You don’t have to read my books — Justine Larbalestier explains this very well. I take a nearly identical position. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

Absolutely worth the drive — John Booth on Friday night's open dinner in Columbus, OH.

Langweil's model of Prague — This is cool. Of course, as a writer, I know nothing whatsoever about obsessive creative behavior.

Searching for meaning in distant solar systemsIs it better for a science writer to be technically correct or understood? These questions apply to SF writers as well, albeit with a slightly different slant.

Weird deep sea creatures — Art guru James Gurney with some bizarre images. In case you needed to write about aliens today.

New Study On Manta Rays Reveals Their Hidden Life

We're all mutants nowThere are a lot of us now, and most of us are a little bit off The headline is hilarious if slightly misleading.

Off the Charts: Shrinking Government — As Andrew Wheeler says, "[G]overnment spending has dropped substantially under Obama, while the private sector has surged. But you know what they say about facts' obvious liberal bias."

Many blacks shrug off Obama's new view on gays — I have always been baffled by this intersection of racial issues and gay issues.

Sen. Rand Paul: Didn't think Obama's view 'could get any gayer' — Stay classy, conservative America. It's what you do best.

An open letter to the right wing in the wake of the passage of Amendment One in North Carolina — As usual, the people who most need to read this never will, and if somehow they do, they will reject it out of hand. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Bullying and BusinessScrivener's Error with more on Romney and bullying from a business analysis perspective. Dovetails nicely with my post of yesterday [ | LiveJournal ] on Romney and bullying.

Mean BoysWhile I have real reservations about holding senior citizens to account for what they did as seniors in high school, I have no reservations about expecting presidential candidates to know how to properly address the mistakes they once made. More on Romney in the New York Times.

In address at Christian university, Romney to urge graduates to honor commitments to family — It's not like I was going to vote for Romney anyway, but lending his name to the educational and intellectual fraud that is an Evangelical institution like Liberty University does not improve my opinion of the man one whit.

Romney’s Anachronism Problem — Conservative commentator Daniel Larison remarks on how Mittens is running against a now-distant past.

?otd: How's your mother?

Writing time yesterday: 1.75 hours (Kalimpura copy edits)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (solid, plus 4.0 hours of fitful airplane napping)
Weight: 244.6 (!!!)
Currently reading: Light Breaker by Mark Teppo


[personal|photos] This, that and the other thing; with bonus ranting about architecture

Some generally unrelated squibs for your amusement…


In between bouts of napping in a Lorazepam-induced haze, I got through about a quarter of the Kalimpura copy edit on the plane yesterday. So far it seems to be a pretty clean manuscript. There's a little mental game I play with myself on copy edits, which is to count how many pages I get without a single markup. Those pages are the ones I "won". So far, in 104 pages processed, exactly two have been clean.

This isn't as bad as it might sound, as many of the CEM markups are typesetting notes and whatnot, so for example, every manuscript page with a scene break on it has markup. Likewise some basic usage stuff which doesn't reflect errors on my part or copy editors queries, but rather conformance to Tor's house style. However, for my little mental game, only clean pages count, regardless of the reason for the markups. 2/100 is about average for me, I think.

Go, me!


I hate part of this monster for dinner last night:

Terminator sandwich from the Rock House Grill at Cartlandia.

This may have something to do with me weighing in this morning at the highest weight I've been at in several years. So, time to get very serious about diet and exercise. The frustrating thing is that chemo has apparently changed my metabolism. (Again.) Despite yesterday's sandwich, I've been eating and exercising at levels consistent with my behaviors prior to this last round of cancer, which were sufficient to keep my weight down in the 220s. That same level of diet and exercise now seems to peg me around 240. So I'm going to have to work more and eat less to maintain where I used to be. Which is both irritating and discouraging, to say the least.


So my hotel bathroom in Columbus, OH had apparently been designed by an architect who'd never actually shut a bathroom door, or taken a shower. This was a nice, upscale business class hotel, where I wouldn't expect such weirdness.

The bathroom was sort of triangular in shape. I'm not sure why, as the building itself was a pretty standard 15- or 20-story box like most hotels of its class. Because of the triangular shape, the bathroom door was hinged down the middle, as well as being hung from the doorframe in the usual fashion. Sort of like one of those bifold closet doors gone freelancing. So you pushed open the door and folded it at the same time.

The bathroom door

However, that is a solid core door. It's fairly heavy, and only made heavier by all the hardware. Not so hard to open from the outside, but if you're inside the bathroom and have managed to close the door, in order to open it again, you have to do a little dance around the vanity and the toilet. There's simply no place to stand when the door is swinging open or shut. And if there's a bathmat on the floor in the usual place one might put a bathmat, just outside the shower, it's pretty much impossible to open the door again because it snags on the bathmat. God help you if you've dropped a towel on the floor.

The pièce de résistance, however was the shower.


It's quite elegant looking. That's a long shower pan on the floor, with a floor-to-ceiling pane of glass blocking the water splash in lieu of a shower curtain. However, in order to turn the shower on, you have to step into the enclosure and reach forward to the water controls. This results in an unavoidable blast of water in the face, as there's no other way to approach them. In an unfamiliar hotel, you have no idea how hot it's going to be on any given setting. In my case, nearly scalding water nailed me in the face, which I then had to reach through, twice, to adjust to a tolerable temperature.

There's no damned way to control the water except by standing in it, thanks to that pane of glass.

Not to mention which, once you insert your corpus delecti in the shower stream, all the water splashing off your body goes right out the step-in opening and soaks the bathmat.

Which makes the damned door that much harder to open.

I'm sure someone thought they were very clever when they designed this bathroom, but I have to say, the architects were idiots, as were the hotel execs who approved this design. People who design this stuff ought to be forced to use it before it can be foisted on an unsuspecting public.

That's all the ranty I got this morning.

Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


[personal] Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and step-mom, and to Mother of the Child, and to you.

Whoever you are, you probably started out life with a mother. If you're lucky, you still have her. You might be a mother, or be partnered with a mother. If you have kids, they quite possibly have a mother. Even if you're a male mom, you're still a mother.

So, well, Happy Mother's Day to you and all the mothers in your life.