April 21st, 2013


[links] Link salad ate some damned good pork yesterday

The Game Of Thrones Is A Game Of Coins

Steven Greer 'Sirius' Documentary To Unveil Pictures Of Alleged Tiny Space Alien — Uh, yeah.

Sperm quality study a breath of fresh air for kilt-wearing ScotsmenMen who wear kilts have better quality sperm and are therefore more fertile, Scottish researchers claim.

Sex and the Pursuit of Happiness: How Other People’s Sex Lives are Related to our Sense of Well-Being — I know nothing, I say nothing...

Hilary Koprowski, Who Developed First Live-Virus Polio Vaccine, Dies at 96 — Ah, the Sturm und Drang of science. (Via David Goldman.)

Senators clarify the terms of the disagreement“Do we agree with Sen. Inhofe that global warming is a hoax and that we do not want the federal government, the EPA, the Department of Energy to address that issue? Because it is a — quote — unquote — hoax, according to Sen. Inhofe and others? Or do we believe and agree with the overwhelming majority of scientists who tell us that global warming is the most serious planetary crisis that we face, and that we must act boldly and aggressively to protect the future of this planet?" Being conservative means never having to listen to the evidence because in your heart, you know you're right.

Boston Bombing Suspects Raise New Terrorism Questions

Shots fired at 4/20 Denver marijuana holiday rally — Yep. Guns definitely make us all safer. Think what might have happened if the Denver shooter hadn't been in a position to exercise their theoretical defense of essential liberties? Some pot heads might have been left in peace, that's what. We can't have that! Everyone knows your Second Amendment right to bear arms trumps any rights I might have to live in safety and without fear.

QotD?: What did you have to eat?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (2,200 words on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (fitful)
Body movement: 0.0 hours (injured foot)
Weight: n/a (couldn't stand on scale due to injured foot)
Number of FEMA troops on my block checking the magazine sizes of gun owners: 0
Currently reading: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett


[food] Smoked meat party

Yesterday we enjoyed some smoked pork butt and smoked chicken courtesy of Team E—. As usual, the meat was fantastic.

Smoked meat party

There was also smoked avocados, green salad (my style, including chicken croutons), chips and dip, banana nut muffins (made by the Niece) and Mama Dudley cake (made by my (step)mom). Mmm mmm mmm.

Smoked meat party

Because nothing is worth doing that is not worth doing to wretched excess.

Photo © 2013, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, decaying under their own weight

The usual low grade GI follies

I haven't talked about my GI much lately. That's because it's been behaving in more or less its contemporary ground state. That is to say, I still have days where I strive to have no more than one fully productive bowel movement per hour. And I still have days (most of them) where tenesmus keeps me trapped on the toilet for extended periods of time. This is of course due to having a significantly shortened colon, no gall bladder, and permanently wonky upper GI function due to long term chemotherapy. So, yeah, even on days where nothing else is wrong, I always have these little reminders.

Speaking of chemotherapy…

Based on something mentioned in my Reddit Fantasy AMA, I went back and calculated the number of hours I've spent on chemotherapy. In the past 3-1/2 years that I've been taking chemotherapy, I've had 33 infusion sessions totaling about 1,550 hours. That's a lot of time on the needle. If I were to try to calculate lost energy and productivity due to post-chemo recovery, I suspect I'd be a very depressed puppy indeed.

Wishing it was a dream

Inside every seriously ill person there is a younger, healthier person wondering what the hell happened. No matter how much I cultivate my own personal brand of ungracious acceptance, no matter how much time and energy I spend facing facts and trying to make rational decisions, I still sometimes have this feeling that this is all an extended mistake, a horrible error, a bad dream sequence from which I will someday awaken. That's obviously not the case. In fact, that feeling is nothing more than arrant wishing. But sometimes I still have it. This must be one of the most common human responses to severe stress.

Listening to my body

I continue to have problems with gum bleeding, nail splitting, weight gain, and so forth. As I said to Lisa Costello last night, I'm not much for secret wisdom or listening to signs. Most wisdom is right out there in plain view for those prepared to recognize it. But I have this strong feeling that my body is telling me there's not much time left. This is purely an emotional statement, in that we don't yet have conclusive medical evidence pointing one way or the other, but I will be surprised to live out the year. And of course tomorrow we get another CEA check, which will provide a bit more medical evidence, though the confirmation of whatever is going on will have to wait for the 5/7 CT. But I know what my body is telling me. I just don't know if it is right.

Passing over to the other side

As both an atheist and as an evidence-based kind of person, it's perfectly clear to me that there's no afterlife. There has never been any objective proof of such a thing in the empirical world. As for faith-based thinking, I actually envy people who can find comfort there. I just can't let go of my own life-long grounding in the empirical world sufficiently to turn to faith myself. Yet one of the people close to me recently asked me in all shame-faced seriousness to try to let them know if I found some continuation after death. Much like the "it's all a dream" impulse, I think this is also a very human stress response. The thing is, there is another side. Just not in that sense. I will live on in [info]the_child, in my books, in the people I have loved and who have loved me. I will be a ripple that does not fade for another generation or more. It's not the same, I know it's not the same, but this is what I have. It must be enough, for there can be no more.