April 14th, 2013


[links] Link salad bowed and prayed to a neon god that it had made

Google lets users plan their digital afterlifeWhat happens to your docs and data after you have 'logged out of life?' Now you can plan it out with Inactive Account Manager. Hey! Just in time for my needs!

FoundationNew York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has released some new shots by photographer Patrick Cashin of the so-called "86th Street cavern," through which the future 2nd Avenue subway will someday travel. And empire?

Sounds during sleep can improve memory

Atomic Gardens — Wow. Irradiated, mutant peanuts. Just wow. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Social media fuels graffiti vandalism at popular national park

NASA Plans to Make Water on the Moon — I dunno. I can make water practically anywhere.

Crescent Neptune and Triton — Nice, very nice.

Andrew Wakefield Tries to Shift Blame for UK Measles Epidemic — Evolution denial stunts child minds. Vaccination denial kills children outright.

Conservative pro-gun Senator demolishes arguments against background checks — Oops. As usual, conservative positions don't survive the application of either logic or common sense.

Tactical Response CEO James Yeager: I Got My Gun Permit Back — I feel so much safer now.

Class Hatred and Bad Memories of ThatcherThe hatred for the late Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, among a broad segment of the British public has manifested itself in visible and undeniable ways in the week after her death, but these are not highlighted on American television. The status quo corporate media are afraid of admitting that policy-makers who favor the rich and punish the middle and working classes are deeply hated by the latter. We had the same effect here in the United States when Reagan died. The media narrative was almost entirely about how all of us must mourn the passing of a great leader. Me, at the purely human level I sorrowed for his loved ones (as I do for Thatcher's), but as far I am concerned, and history will almost certainly judge eventually, Ronald Reagan was an intellectual and moral fraud who was manifestly incompetent due to advancing dementia. Very little of what he is revered for by modern conservatives is even true of him. My opinions of Margaret Thatcher are no higher.

QotD?: Where are the words of the prophets written?

Writing time yesterday: 0.5 hours (WRPA only, Fred wasn't cooperating)
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (airport walking to come)
Weight: 0.0 (away from home)
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 by closing down golf courses: 0
Currently reading: Jingo by Terry Pratchett


[cheese|photos] The Paradise Lost cheese spread

So yesterday we had cheese. I opted for a wide range of samplers rather than concentrating on more quantity of a fewer selections. In truth, I probably went overboard. This spread fed twenty people for about $450, with a fair amount left over.

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Also, various kinds of artisanal bread. It was a lovely spread. For some reason, I didn't get a photo of the Wensleydale.

Photos © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

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


[cancer] On ways and means of coping

Anybody who knows me in real life knows that I am a tasteless person with a sense of humor low enough to reasonably be called vile. I cope with my cancer in part by being rather a smart ass, at least when my emotional energy allows. I am not the only one in my circle who does this. But it also bothers the hell out of some people around me.

Playing Cards Against Humanity a couple of days ago, someone passed me the "Brain Tumor" card. I thought this was absolutely hilarious. Likewise, there is a joke going around just lately which I continue to re-tell, that goes thusly:
Q: "What's the difference between Jay Lake and a ham?"
A: "A ham can be cured."

The partner of the person who first told me this joke (they are both dear friends) is very upset by it, even though I crack up every time this comes out. If it was up to me, this joke would be told at my funeral.

Humor is incredibly suggestive at the best of times. Humor in the face of mind-numbing adversity... If I couldn't laugh at this at least some of the time, I'd have curled up and died of grief and fear a long time ago.

In a related vein, yesterday [info]deborahjross said on her LiveJournal:
I must remember that when a dying friend trusts me with intense emotions, they are not asking for me to solve a problem. They are asking me to listen. To be with them. To ease the loneliness and fear to whatever extend my presence can. To be present with them in this very moment.

Down in the comment thread, I responded in part:
[B}ear in mind that everyone in a position similar to mine may have different views of their needs. And some of us (myself included sometimes) can be driven to profound irrationality by fear or stress. Sadly, there is no really good answer.

For me, gallows humor is relieving. Entertaining. And much, much better than most of my emotional and conversational alternatives. For others, it can be profoundly offensive. See my comments about adverse reactions to the Alternate History of My Cancer video [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ].

But you know what? It's my cancer. I get to decide how to cope. I also get to change my mind about my coping strategies. In either case, it's not my job to help other people feel better about their fears for themselves or or me. It's my job to make myself feel better. That's the best thing I can do for anyone.

This true of anyone in my situation. Most people probably aren't as enthusiastic about tasteless remarks as I am, but they get to choose. This is my choice. If I could go out death's door laughing, I would.