November 22nd, 2012


[links] Link salad is thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! — M.K. Hobson with some awesome Thanksgiving history.

'Life of Pi' took Ang Lee on an epic journey of his ownRoger Ebert on this film.

Chand Baori — I've never even heard of a step well. This is very strange and beautiful.

Steampunk art is now terrorism, according to the TSA — Feel safer now? (Via Lisa Costello.)

NASA's not sharing a 'historic' find on Mars... yetData from a sample of Martian dirt could be earth-shattering, but the space agency is taking time to check its work. The Bad Astronomer with more. (Or less.)

In Space, Flames Behave in Ways Nobody Thought Possible — Cool flames? Really? (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Tech Start-Ups Find a Home on the Prairie — What I find funny about this piece is that company I work for originated as a Midwestern tech startup over two decades ago. (Thanks to my Dad.)

Researcher wants nanotech patent moratoriumClaims advances in the field are "being stifled at birth." What this really means is that other countries will make substantial advances with huge economic and technological implications while here in the US the whole field dicks around in court.

Monsanto insurance: USDA tells farmers to pay for avoiding troubles with agro-giantthe best maneuver for any Monsanto foe to take right now is to simply buy insurance, suggesting that the top guns will be given the go-ahead to continue with their contested habit of near endless litigation, a practice that has a tendency to leave the little guys bankrupt and out of business — only to be bought up by the billion-dollar Monsanto corporation after their bills can’t be paid. In other words, give up, ordinary citizens, you can't fight the abuses of corporate America. Btw, if you're a conservative, this is what your beloved industry self-regulation looks like. Profit optimization at the expense of everyone and everything. Sort of like my relationship to the Google Books Settlement, actually. (Via [info]danjite.)

The Very First Americans — Newt Gingrich honors the original migrants over the Bering Strait land bridge 15,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. No, wait, never mind. He's talking about white people 400 years ago. Apparently no one before then was American. All those ones that came before? Illegals. Ask any conservative.

The Real ‘Evangelical Disaster’The great evangelical disaster is that evangelicalism has become synonymous with Republicanism rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yup. Atwater and Ailes needed a reliable voting bloc back in the late 1970s, and you guys eagerly signed up. That's why almost two entire generations of young and middle-aged Americans can casually dismiss Christianity as a source of hatred and vitriol, because your leaders sold your souls for a mess of pottage. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Police officer quits after comments about Barack ObamaWhen questioned by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office integrity unit, he said he also didn't care if a nuclear explosion killed everyone in the Northeastern U.S because they supported Obama. Remember, this dingbat Republican creep had a badge and a gun and powers of arrest. Stay classy, conservative America. It's what you do best.

Members of the 112th Congress Depart, Taking Their Quirks Along — Senator Hutchison had a purse boy? Really? (Via my Dad.)

The New RepublicansThere has been a lot of talk since the election about the possible emergence of a new faction within the Republican party, or at least among the conservative intelligentsia. These new Republicans, we’re told, are willing to be more open-minded on cultural issues, more understanding of immigrants, and more skeptical that trickle-down economics is enough; they’ll favor direct measures to help working families. So what should we call these new Republicans? I have a suggestion: why not call them “Democrats”?

The GOP's Voter Suppression Strategy — That's what you do when you can't win on ideas. Assuming that you lack integrity, intellectual honesty or any commitment to the democratic process. Gee, which party are we talking about, again?

?otD: Having a deep fried turducken today?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on stationary bike)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Weight: 219.0
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 and sending good Christian girls to Obama's abortion camps: 0
Currently reading: Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold


[cancer] Oncology updates, for them what's following in that level of detail

There's some good news and some better news. I don't get a lot to celebrate in my life as a cancer patient, so I'll not bury the lede.

Better news:

Yesterday at the oncology consult, I asked my oncologist why the radiology report on my CT scan of this past Monday only referenced two tumors, when I have three in my liver. They followed up with this email later that afternoon:
"I just got into the imaging system, and the 3rd lesion is not well seen on the current scan, it appears to be gone."

That's one down, two go! Rumsfeld is dead (or at least shrunk below the scanning resolution margin of error, +/- 5 mm). Only Bush and Cheney remain.

Collapse )

Not so good but completely unsurprising news:

The oncology resident remarked offhandedly (while my oncologist was out of the room) that in cases of recurrent metastatic disease, they don't really expect to achieve a cure. Rather, we're playing for time and trying to stay ahead of it. This jibes with what I've been told before by everyone, including my oncologist, but was far more blunt than most oncology clinicians are willing to be with me. Take that for what it's worth.


[personal] What I am thankful for

I am thankful to still be alive after four and half years of Stage 4 colon cancer with multiple metastases.

I am also thankful to still be relatively healthy even with these challenges.

I am thankful that I live in a time, place and milieu of social and economic privilege where that survival has even been possible.

I am thankful that I continue to see my daughter grow into a smart, capable, competent young woman.

I am thankful for her recent personal and academic growth, which has show her she can be successful no matter what.

I am thankful for the love of my family, for Lisa Costello and Ace Jordyn and Jersey Girl in Portland, and all my friends and loved ones from here to the far side of the world.

I am thankful for my writing career, for the opportunity to have written and be read, and for whatever lies ahead, regardless of its trajectory.

I am thankful for my job, and the supportive employer, manager and co-workers who have helped me stay economically stable and under full health insurance coverage all this time. They have often gone beyond the bounds of either duty or responsibility in the name of friendship and support.

I am thankful for all of you reading here, both those who remain silent and those who engage me in comments, via email or in person. Apparently I need an audience, and I am thankful that I seem to be entertaining and interesting enough to build and keep that audience.

Most of all, I am thankful for long and wonderful life I've already led. Regardless of where cancer and time's relentless decay may take me in the future, that past and present belong to me, and they are a gift I will cherish always.

What are you thankful for? (Feel free to post a link if you've answered that question elsewhere.)