October 1st, 2013


[links] Link salad watches the leaves spin from October and whip around your tail

The Wisdom of the Dead — Ah, me. (And yes, this is in part about me.)

"All great science fiction must have a basis in science fact" — Hahahah.

Is this the most extraordinary human brain ever seen? — (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

Deadly 13th-Century Volcano Eruption: Mystery Solved?Scientists find source of massive eruption felt centuries ago around the globe.

Cassini probe sees plastic ingredient on Titan moon

Distant planet's clouds are mappedAstronomers have created the first map of the clouds on a planet outside our Solar System. More on this from Centauri Dreams>.

The Leidenfrost Maze — Science gets jiggy. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Researchers reveal ‘promiscuity’ among microbes in isolated Antarctic lakeThe microbes that dominate Deep Lake’s inhabitants are called haloarchaea.

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Maximum Extent — Hoo boy. The climate change denialists will be all over this. Because they are unfamiliar with the concept of "variation". Denialists are kind of like the OJ Simpson defense team. They seize on every data point or piece of evidence in isolation without ever presenting a coherent competing explanation.

CNN, NBC scrap Hillary Clinton TV projectsTwo television projects focused on Hillary Clinton got the axe on Monday after the programs became embroiled in partisan wrangling, including threats by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to boycott presidential debates sponsored by CNN and NBC. Stay classy, conservative America. It's what you do best.

You can fly, but it will be lights out at many landmarks — Thank you, Republican America. Your profoundly irrational and senseless obsession with destroying healthcare for millions of Americans now has real consequences for everyone beyond the usual death and illness you already fervently wish on the poor and disadvantaged.

Ted Cruz and America’s Super-Rich say “Let them eat Cake” — I simply do not understand how modern conservatives function intellectually and morally. It's like Randian metastasis has overtaken the entire American Right.

Another proof of bad faith: The inconsistency of ‘blacktracking’Slacktivist Fred Clark on the justly famed intellectual consistency and moral superiority of conservatives.

It Didn't Start With Ted CruzFor example, the idea of abandoning reason and empirical evidence in favor of apocryphal anecdotes was central to Ronald Reagan's entire public career. Welfare queens and their Cadillacs. Pollution-causing trees. Iranian moderates. It's not a long jump from those to Sarah Palin's death panels, and the complete failure of the press to challenge the triumph of that mythological universe that was crucial to Reagan's own triumph legitimized that kind of thing in our politics forever.

Republicans, Over the CliffWhen I think of the Republican Party, I don’t think of principled conservative legislators who are men and women of vision strategy. I think of ideologues who are prepared to wreck things to get their way. They have confused prudence — the queen of virtues, and the cardinal virtue of conservative politics — with weakness. I know I’m very much a minority among conservatives in this, but the behavior of Congressional Republicans pushed me out of the party two years ago, even though I almost always vote Republican, or withhold my vote. You are still part of the problem, sir, when you vote Republican. Every reasonable and humane conservative I know has for years supported the insanity which the GOP has become. The fiscal, social and military horror that was the Bush presidency, the current madness in the House of Representatives… if you're a Republican voter, you own it.

Those Banana Republicans — AH, the prudent fiscal wisdom of the Republican mind is on display yet again in this government shutdown.

?otD: Do you shiver through the gale?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 242.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block implementing Kenyan Muslim socialism through stock market growth and economic recovery: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)


[friends] A fine visit just concluding

The delightful and talented [info]elisem has been visiting Nuevo Rancho Lake since Saturday. Sadly, she leaves today. It's been a lot of fun to have her here.

She has gotten to spend time with [info]the_child and with Lisa Costello. Elise also fit right in to our family fajita party on Sunday. We had hoped to go to the coast yesterday, but the remains of a Pacific typhoon have been setting rainfall records around here, so that seemed like a poor idea. The three of us adults did manage a light dinner at Veritable Quandry last night, which included three orders of duck cracklings with hoisin sauce — basically crack cocaine on a plate.

The most fun, though, has been watching Elise make shinies. She has been narrating her process, and she and I have been talking a lot about the creative process in general, via both art and writing, as well as some about death and dying. I've seen her make five or six pieces here, and each one has been an act of evolution and grace. An amazing privilege from a good friend.

Anyway, she is off today, as we are heading to the airport soon. It's been great to see Elise here.


[cancer] Field notes from Cancerland, eclectic edition

Side Effects

I continue tracking side effects. I now monitor blood pressure daily, as my friend Regorafenib drives that up. I have a nifty iPhone app that records BP, pulse and weight. I'm looking for a poop tracker as well, just haven't yet sat down and focused on this. We've got the overnight sleep issues under control with the combination of Trazodone and Lorazepam, though daytime fatigue and napping needs continued. We're dealing with unexplained gradual weight loss. (Well, actually its unexplained gradual reduction of food intake, so the weight loss per se is perfectly explicable.) The feet as always trouble me, and my GI has gone back into horrible overdrive.

Financial and Legal Planning

This is going pretty well. We've got budgets going forward for me both pre- and post-mortem, and the long-term estate plan in place to provide for [info]the_child and her mother after I pass. My ongoing survival makes planning a little more complex, but there you go. I could have worse problems. I've also been consulting with counsel about the intersection between intellectual property income and disability income. We seem to have a plan there as well, but are awaiting some confirmation of the legal opinions rendered thus far. Soon most of this will be off my plate except for some ongoing management and reporting requirements.

Writing and Publishing

I continue to not write. I expect this state of affairs to last the rest of my life, as whenever the current medication fails and I go off it, that will not signal a return to health and full cognitive capacity, but rather an entry to my period of terminal decline. We might yet get lucky with a study drug, but I would be beyond amazed if any other core cancer fighting drug left my brain any more clear than the last five treatment rounds have.

Publishing, on the other hand, is going swimmingly. Several fun and interesting things are happening, and wait to be announced. Some big, some small, some just right. Watch this space for details. Let's just say I'm happy with the progress.


Thanks to the generosity of Unnamed Benefactors, both Lisa Costello and I will be at World Fantasy Convention in Brighton next month. I am flying over a week early, and hope to spend a day or two in Paris, otherwise be in London. If you're a European friend or fan who'd like to see me, watch for announcements about exactly when and where I can be found. Plus at the convention, of course, with Lisa.


In news about which I am inordinately pleased, I will be a french fry tester today for a small regional restaurant chain. I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say about this, so I may or may not report more after the fact. But for some reason, this seriously tickles my fancy.

Mmmm. French fries.