October 27th, 2012


[links] Link salad dozes dopey and slow on chemo

What the eyes have seen can never be forgotten.[info]reynardo's son takes on the sexualisation of Halloween costumes.

Latest Study Finds Cancer Cells Now Cruelly Mocking ResearchersThe findings—published this week in a rambling, expletive-laden 8,000-word article in The Journal Of The American Medical Association—provides the strongest evidence yet that abnormal cells targeted with cutting-edge cancer treatments are basically flipping off scientists left and right, and get a huge kick out of making oncologists feel like a bunch of bumbling dipshit chumps. Hahahah. (Via David Goldman.)

An alternate universe — A funny, Apple-centric review of the in-store experience with the new Microsft Surface with Windows RT. (Via Scott Frey.)

Why Are China and Japan Sparring Over Eight Tiny, Uninhabited Islands?Why are China and Japan locked in a tense face-off, alarming the world and inflicting substantial economic pain on themselves, over a bunch of tiny uninhabited islands in the East China Sea? Nationalist politics and historical resentments figure heavily in the territorial dispute, as do fish. But there's another potent ingredient: energy.

Mold, bacteria found at factory tied to meningitis outbreak'Greenish black foreign matter' was found in 83 vials of a batch of of the tainted steroid that caused a meningitis outbreak. This is why regulation is bad. Companies aren't free to make the most efficient decisions. Those 25 people who died because of this are just part of normal market self-correction. Np intrusive government regulation needed here, thank you.

Obama: Ayn Rand Is For Misunderstood TeenagersIn an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, President Obama said Ayn Rand's writings are appealing to those who are "17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood." But "as we get older," he said, people recognize its "narrow vision." Hahahahah.

How extreme is the Republican Party? — A rather smug little fact-free piece from conservative outlet The Washington Times congratulating Republicans on how mainstream they are, and counseling voters to ignore liberal propaganda with its biased "facts" and "data" and "history of the Bush administration".

Evil Liberals Keep Making Republicans Look RacistWhatever the case, the obvious conclusion -- that the American Right has always contained, and continues to contain, both racist and extremist elements that act out in violent and repugnant ways, and that the current campaign is bringing them back into the mainstream of politics -- simply can't be true. Because otherwise, all of their mainstream enablers on the right would be forced to recognize that their refusal to admit their existence and their resurgence is in fact empowering these racists by providing them with endless wink-and-nudge cover. Cold reality: Conservatives are not even remotely serious about confronting or dealing with racism in America, no matter how they protest that they "oppose" "racist material". And they prove it to us every day. Reminds me when I was a student at UT-Austin. My freshman year, there were about a dozen reported incidents of fraternity members burglarizing academic offices to steal test files. (One can only imagine how many more went undetected or unreported.) Every single time, the president of the Interfraternity Council would make a statement condemning the event and portraying it as an "isolated incident". It would have been funny if it weren't so sad. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Former Powell Chief of Staff: GOP 'Full of Racists'"Let me just be candid," he said. "My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable." Just like how the 99% white Tea Party didn't have a word to say when white conservative George Bush did everything they claim to hate black Barack Obama for. Also, this just in, water is wet.

How the GOP's Real Agenda Is Revealed in Their Nasty Rape CommentsThe umpteenth rape comment reveals the real agendas and beliefs of the GOP as a whole. Not to mention which the agenda has all been down in black and white in the Republican party platforms for years. (Those would be the same platforms that mention UN Agenda 21, in case you mistakenly thought they'd been written by anyone with a whiff of sanity remaining in their echoing, conservative skulls.)

Mitt Romney Style — Hahahah.

?otD: Which of the seven chemo dwarves are you?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (1,700 words on novella "Rock of Ages")
Body movement: 0.0 hour (chemo)
Hours slept: 12.0 hours (ten hours overnight plus napping)
Weight: n/a (forgot)
Currently reading: Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold


[cancer] Chemo series three, session three, day two

Went to the infusion center yesterday with Lisa Costello. [info]tillyjane (a/k/a my Mom) came by after a bit. Normally my Dad and or my (step)Mom come, but he spent yesterday morning in the ER. Everything turned out fine, but it made for some magnificent bonus stress on chemo day.

My oncologist continues to assure me that skin problems are normal on this medication series, and that in a few more weeks it will have peaked and then settle down. One small benefit of the 'skip' week this past week is that my face has cleared up a lot. The troublesome stuff on my hands continues to worsen however. Last night we tried a baking soda bath on my hands, followed by 2.5% Hydrocortisone on the palm of my right hand and aloe gel on the palm of my left. Results ambiguous.

As emotionally upsetting as my face issues are, if hand issues get serious that causes all kind of lifestyle and productivity problems. Pretty nervous about his.

S— came over yesterday evening to keep company and help out. It was good to see her, we'd met at a Con a few years ago. I think Lisa Costello. [info]tillyjane appreciated the company.

Team E— had gotten the missing MacBook Pro over from the Apple Store yesterday as well, so Scott Frey very kindly came over and managed the disk restore project for [info]the_child. His generosity on a Friday night is greatly appreciated. Plus he had some incredible photos of Pompeii and Rome on his laptop, so [info]the_child got a nifty lesson in history and architecture. Scott and S— also talked climbing for a while.

Today we're hoping to get caught up on photodocumenting the bells people have sent me, as well on the sewing thereof. I promise nothing, as I'll mostly be drooling in my chair, but [info]the_child and Lisa Costello are interested in doing that.

Nuevo Ranch Lake is a busy little house while I sit and drip, drip, drip.


[tech|apple] Talking about closed computing ecosytems

To state the bleedingly obvious, one of the great divides in contemporary consumer computing and telephony technology is the question of open versus closed. Speaking loosely, this is true both at the licensing level (Linux vs most of the world) and at the operational level (Linux and Windows vs Mac). There are equivalent tugs of war in the cell phone world.

In a recent comment thread on my woes with the Pioneer Place Apple Store, [info]a_cubed said:
WRT Apple, well this is what you get for buying into a closed ecosystem. You're at their mercy. As much as possible I use ecosystems that are as open as possible. It's getting harder because there are costs to openness that I could go on about at length, but really it's a case of short term versus long term benefit. You may get short term benefit from engaging in a closed ecosystem, but in the long run they'll screw you when you have no alternative. THis is why monopolies are usually technically illegal, though these days it can be politically impossible to truly deal with a monopoly (compare the MS cases and Standard Oil cases).

My response was:
I'm well aware of the closed ecosystem issues, both as a philosophical problem and as more focused business problem. But I'm also well aware of my own time/value equations.

I've been a Mac user since 1985 and a Windows user since 1997, with several stints in Linux as well, and I can tell you that the total amount of time I've spent on software and hardware hassles (install, configuration, updates, bugs at whatever level, weird incompatibilities, etc.) in over a quarter century of being a Mac user is less than I spend on any given year using either Windows or Linux.

Despite having a deep technical background and being fairly capable when not in the throes of chemo brain, I don't fundamentally enjoy troubleshooting and configuration, and it's a zero value (or worse) use of my time compared to other activities like writing or hanging out with my loved ones.

A better than 1:25 ratio of my time expended on unnecessary issues that don't advance my productivity one iota is a pretty compelling argument to me personally for holding my nose and coping with the walled garden.

I realize that the whole Mac vs PC discussion is profoundly polarized, Things which are as obvious as "this way is down" to one faction seem outright delusional to the other. For my part, the value of my time trumps the other arguments. "How can you put up with such absolute third party control of your environment" balances against "How can you put up with spending so much of your time chasing device drivers and running down incompatibilities".

For my part, the value of a smooth, uninterrupted and well-designed computing experience trumps all the pain Windows and Linux have put me through over the years. For others, the equation is different.

Where do you fall on this?