December 10th, 2013


[links] Link salad heads back to the doctor from the comfort of home

Walmart Called – Your Christmas Photos Are ready — My eyes!!! Not exactly work-safe.

Mars lake 'much like early Earth'The ancient lake environment found in Mars' Gale Crater could have supported microbes called chemolithoautotrophs - if they had been present. Remember when the question of whether there had ever been open water on Mars was highly debatable? I love science.

“Its (sic) not bigorty (sic), its (sic) biology” — Ah, conservatives. Incompetent as well as bigoted.

Oregon Campaign For Gay Marriage Hits Signature Goal — Another breath of sanity against the winds of conservative religious bigotry.

The NSA Has Been Spying On World Of Warcraft — Wow, do I feel safer. And this without Moat GunZ!!!™ even.

South Carolina Sheriff Deletes Facebook Post About Refusing To Lower Flags For Mandela — Huh. Wonder why he backed down. It’s not like Republican officials in the American south ever pay any kind of penalty for their racism. The opposite, really.

There’s Now A Coloring Book To Teach Your Children To Love Ted Cruz — Wow. Just wow. I guess stunting their children’s (and everyone else’s children’s) minds with evolution denial and a refusal to teach critical thinking isn’t good enough for conservatives. Now this cult of personality shit?

Washington Doomsday Prophecy — Hahahah.

Republican to-do list — Hahahah. Yeah.

No soul-searching for Virginia GOP after lossesMullins mocked post-election analysis that said Cuccinelli was too conservative for a changing state. “This is false narrative by false prophets,” he said. Because, uh, yeah. You know what? Keep it up, GOP. Your Angry White Men are dying out, and pretty much everyone who isn’t an older white man or a member of some deeply politicized church is soooo done with you. All the better for the entire country, your party members included, if you hurtle into irrelevancy guns ablazing.

The Punishment CureNow, the G.O.P.’s desire to punish the unemployed doesn’t arise solely from bad economics; it’s part of a general pattern of afflicting the afflicted while comforting the comfortable (no to food stamps, yes to farm subsidies). That’s actually an excellent précis of most of the Republican party platform. Which arises logically enough from their Angry White Men strategy, itself an impassioned, no-compromise defense of established privilege (or at least perception of established privilege), proudly and self-consciously at the expense of the rights and opportunities of others. (Not to mention more subtly at the expense of their own rights and opportunities.)

?otD: Got oncology?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 241.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)


[writing|help] The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund is doing a fundraiser

So, the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund has been a big presence in my life these past few years, helping me financially at times of great need. (I did not need them this year, as it happens, thanks to all your generosity with the Sequence a Science Fiction Writer fundraiser back at the beginning of the year.) Their reserve funds are running low, and they have asked me to try to boost the signal on a much-needed year-end fundraiser.

Here’s what my friends at the Clayton fund have to say about themselves:

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest deal with the financial burden of medical emergencies. Even with insurance, co-pays can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, and over the past few years, we have faced a heavy draw on our money. The Fund is now down to a few thousand dollars.

The Clayton Fund was founded seventeen years ago by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (OSFCI) in response to the illness of Portland writer Jo Clayton. Our initial money came from a national campaign by writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy to help Jo and other writers. The Fund has since assisted many writers in the region deal with medical and dental emergencies.

As part of OSFCI, the Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations to the fund are tax deductible and often qualify for matching donations from employers.

Donations can be made using PayPal through the Fund's Web site ( or mailed to:

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Please be sure to include full contact information so we can mail you a letter acknowledging your donation.

I’ll be donating from my surplusage from this year’s fund raising for my benefit. If you’ve got a few extra bucks this season looking for a tax deduction, why not join me? It’s an excellent cause helping writers who often have run out of financial lifelines. It's an organization that has been of great help to me personally. That's two fantastic reasons right there.


[travel|cancer] My misadventures getting home yesterday to see the doctor today

There's no real way to make a coherent blog post out of this, so you'll have to settle for a bit of narrative.

Getting home from Omaha yesterday was an epic effort, but I made it. My luggage did not. My irreplaceable Mongolian camel fur hat apparently did not, though there's some hope I absent mindedly packed it into my luggage (which I never do on purpose).

I had five different flight itineraries yesterday. That is to say, at different points in the process, I was booked on five different flights out of Omaha before I finally managed to leave. American cancelled my original route through DFW on Sunday, the day before I was to fly, due to extreme weather in DFW more or less crashing their operations. I was rescheduled to a Monday flight through ORD.

When I got to the airport in Omaha early, they rescheduled me again at the check-in desk to an earlier flight through ORD, to help me make my connection to PDX. That flight began posting later and later, until was both later than the flight that came after it which I had been previously scheduled on, and late enough to make me miss my connection at ORD. It was also clear the later flight was going to be postponed.

I went to the American Airlines counter agent and said, "Look, I'm a terminal cancer patient. I have two oncology appointments tomorrow. I have to get home tonight. Can you reschedule me through Denver on another airline, since both Dallas and Chicago are such a mess?"

They're not really supposed to do that when they still have available seats in their own system, but he poked around and was very helpful, placing me on a set of Frontier Airlines flights that went OMA-DEN, then DEN-PDX. Since I'd already checked in, he called down to the American baggage room and had my bag transferred to Frontier.

The earlier Frontier flight was full, so I wasn't leaving til that evening. Then Lisa Costello texted me that the evening flight had posted a two-hour delay, which would again make me miss my PDX connection, stranding me in DEN. I went up to the Frontier gate agent and told him the same thing I'd told the American agent. He put me on stand-by, then got me on the plane in their 'stretch seating', which is what Frontier has instead of First Class. I'm pretty sure they're not really supposed to do that, either, especially since I wasn't even a Frontier customer in the first place.

I finally got on a plane leaving Omaha, my fifth scheduled flight out. I have no idea what happened to my bag at that point. My connection in Denver going to Portland was almost two hours late, but I got out of Denver and home last night. Frontier has no idea where my bag is, because I do not have a Frontier Airlines bag check tag, due to the interairline transfer back in Omaha, and they can't trace it through the American Airlines bag check tag. We're hoping it came in overnight from Omaha via Denver, but given the other delays, it may still be languishing in Omaha or in Denver. As me getting home was the critical issue, I am not grumpy about this. I would like to see my bag again sooner or later.

At any rate, on a day when well over a 1,000 flights were cancelled, thanks to the flexibility of two gate agents, one for American Airlines and one for Frontier Airlines, I got home. My first oncology appointment is at 8 am this morning, my second is this afternoon. I will make them.

So my thanks to both airlines.

Now I'm off this morning for some bloodwork preparatory to tomorrow's monthly consultation with my medical oncologist. This afternoon I have a screening and intake appointment for one of the clinical trials I am trying to engage with. Overnight has brought the Portland area radically unseasonal snow and ice, which will make getting around today a lot more exciting than it should be.

But I'm here, and I can make it in to my appointments. Thank you American, and thank you Frontier.