September 7th, 2013


[links] Link salad is far away from dry land and its bitter memories

Jay Lake, Cancer, and God #7: His Own Self and Mortality — The conversation continues.

12 Horrifying Photos Of French Clowns From 1900-1930s — Uh, yeah. (Thanks, I think, to [info]garyomaha.(

Social Waste Product — That's a heck of a photo set of abandoned places and things. (Via [info]threeoutside.)

The 1970s Cold War Era Home built 26 Feet Underground — Weird shit, Maynard. (Via Lisa Costello.)

Charles Brandon: Norfolk hawk death reveals 'royal' hunt — "Vervel" is certainly a new word for me. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Night in the Andes Ice Forest — Wow, would I like to see this in real life.

Virgin spaceship passes technical milestone — Another thing I will never see in real life. Sigh.

A Better Way to Bring Your Desktop to Your iPad — (Via Dad.)

The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet — A pointer to some good essays and a strong comment thread on this topic. (Via David Goldman.)

Montana Legal Officials Step In on Rape Case Sentence — Because women. This is the kind of legal thinking that the conservative view of women brings us.

Qotd?: Do you wish you were a fisherman?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minutes (stationary bike)
Weight: 244.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block closing golf courses for Agenda 21: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)


[photos|travel] Dahomey, 1968

When I was a small child, we lived in the former French West African colony of Dahomey. (The country is now known as Benin.) My earliest memories in life are from those days. Apropos of various recent conversations within the family, Dad has sent me a few photos from those days. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing a slice of life for Americans living in Africa in 1968.

AF-147 Dahomey Fording the Stream 1968
The family car on a Dahomean road

AF-148 Dahomey Bridge built while waiting1968
This bridge which had been under repair was rebuilt for us while we waited

68 VW Repair  Pendjari River Upper Volta-Dahomey - Boukina Faso Benin border Near Niger River A1-062
68 VW Repair at Pendjari River Upper Volta-Dahomey (now Boukina Faso-Benin) border near Niger River

68 1 Dahomey Guest House Far North A1 60-001
Guest house in the far north of the country

Photos © 1968, 2013 Joseph E. Lake, Sr. Reproduced with permission, all rights reserved.


[cancer|writing] Wisdom is where you find it

I've been visiting with a dear friend these past few days. We've been talking a lot about both writing and life, each of those topics primarily through the lens of my own journeys.

A point that I keep coming back to these past few years is my belief that wisdom is where you find it. It's been my experience that almost everything I needed to know was available to me almost all of the time. I just didn't know that until I was ready to hear what the world had been whispering in my ears all along, and see what had been set before me the whole time.

The longest struggle for the wisdom of the mountain top sages is the one that takes place in our own chairs.

In writing: When I was the newest of newbies, and didn't know standard manuscript format from a hole in the ground, the Slug Tribe had to show me. The information was a revelation to me. Yet it had been available to me all along, in Writer's Market and Writer's Digest books, at convention panels and workshops, through talking with more experienced writers. Until I was ready and listening, I did not hear.

That is of course the most facile of examples, but in its simplicity, the example is very clear.

In life: My convictions about kindness and opportunity [ | LiveJournal ] were always there. "Do as you would be done by" is an old, old rubric both in and out of the Bible, and that's a slightly fancier way of saying, "Be nice." Likewise, there are endless proverbs, sayings and stories about seizing opportunity. Yet I had to reach a certain point in my mortality before I could clearly articulate this to myself or anyone else.

The world is wise, and welcomes our attention. For each of us, the process is that of learning how to open ourselves to that wisdom and pay the proper attention.