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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-05-13 06:47
Subject: [personal|photos] This, that and the other thing; with bonus ranting about architecture
Security: Public
Tags:books, cancer, food, funny, health, kalimpura, photos, process, travel, writing
Some generally unrelated squibs for your amusement…


In between bouts of napping in a Lorazepam-induced haze, I got through about a quarter of the Kalimpura copy edit on the plane yesterday. So far it seems to be a pretty clean manuscript. There's a little mental game I play with myself on copy edits, which is to count how many pages I get without a single markup. Those pages are the ones I "won". So far, in 104 pages processed, exactly two have been clean.

This isn't as bad as it might sound, as many of the CEM markups are typesetting notes and whatnot, so for example, every manuscript page with a scene break on it has markup. Likewise some basic usage stuff which doesn't reflect errors on my part or copy editors queries, but rather conformance to Tor's house style. However, for my little mental game, only clean pages count, regardless of the reason for the markups. 2/100 is about average for me, I think.

Go, me!


I hate part of this monster for dinner last night:

Terminator sandwich from the Rock House Grill at Cartlandia.

This may have something to do with me weighing in this morning at the highest weight I've been at in several years. So, time to get very serious about diet and exercise. The frustrating thing is that chemo has apparently changed my metabolism. (Again.) Despite yesterday's sandwich, I've been eating and exercising at levels consistent with my behaviors prior to this last round of cancer, which were sufficient to keep my weight down in the 220s. That same level of diet and exercise now seems to peg me around 240. So I'm going to have to work more and eat less to maintain where I used to be. Which is both irritating and discouraging, to say the least.


So my hotel bathroom in Columbus, OH had apparently been designed by an architect who'd never actually shut a bathroom door, or taken a shower. This was a nice, upscale business class hotel, where I wouldn't expect such weirdness.

The bathroom was sort of triangular in shape. I'm not sure why, as the building itself was a pretty standard 15- or 20-story box like most hotels of its class. Because of the triangular shape, the bathroom door was hinged down the middle, as well as being hung from the doorframe in the usual fashion. Sort of like one of those bifold closet doors gone freelancing. So you pushed open the door and folded it at the same time.

The bathroom door

However, that is a solid core door. It's fairly heavy, and only made heavier by all the hardware. Not so hard to open from the outside, but if you're inside the bathroom and have managed to close the door, in order to open it again, you have to do a little dance around the vanity and the toilet. There's simply no place to stand when the door is swinging open or shut. And if there's a bathmat on the floor in the usual place one might put a bathmat, just outside the shower, it's pretty much impossible to open the door again because it snags on the bathmat. God help you if you've dropped a towel on the floor.

The pièce de résistance, however was the shower.


It's quite elegant looking. That's a long shower pan on the floor, with a floor-to-ceiling pane of glass blocking the water splash in lieu of a shower curtain. However, in order to turn the shower on, you have to step into the enclosure and reach forward to the water controls. This results in an unavoidable blast of water in the face, as there's no other way to approach them. In an unfamiliar hotel, you have no idea how hot it's going to be on any given setting. In my case, nearly scalding water nailed me in the face, which I then had to reach through, twice, to adjust to a tolerable temperature.

There's no damned way to control the water except by standing in it, thanks to that pane of glass.

Not to mention which, once you insert your corpus delecti in the shower stream, all the water splashing off your body goes right out the step-in opening and soaks the bathmat.

Which makes the damned door that much harder to open.

I'm sure someone thought they were very clever when they designed this bathroom, but I have to say, the architects were idiots, as were the hotel execs who approved this design. People who design this stuff ought to be forced to use it before it can be foisted on an unsuspecting public.

That's all the ranty I got this morning.

Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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

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Jim Hetley
User: jhetley
Date: 2012-05-13 13:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Speaking as an architect and from experience with "franchise" plans, that bathroom design is likely duplicated far and wide throughout the land. Enjoy!
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2012-05-13 14:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Magnificent rant! Be sure to share with the hotel management. The part about setting shower temperature is spot-on, of course. I try to check out unfamiliar showers when I'm somewhat awake and not first thing in the morning -- at least there's a fighting chance at not getting scalded. In this case, however, there appeared to be no option.

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shhhh it's a secrit
User: secritcrush
Date: 2012-05-13 14:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm sure someone thought they were very clever when they designed this bathroom, but I have to say, the architects were idiots, as were the hotel execs who approved this design. People who design this stuff ought to be forced to use it before it can be foisted on an unsuspecting public.

I see this sort of thing all the time. (I am an engineer who works on buildings, so I log a lot of quality time with architects.) I have a project where the architect tried to stick a similar door onto a disability access bathroom, and as a kicker, wanted to have it open into a stairwell.

Edited at 2012-05-13 02:12 pm (UTC)
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User: a_cubed
Date: 2012-05-13 14:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Reminds me of the spacious bathroom I had in the room in Melbourne for Worldcon in 2010. The same problem with no way of getting to the controls except while in the way of the non-movable shower head. It had a glass door as well as the glass partition. The bathroom was huge, the full width of the room (about 14 feet or so) and the towel rail was at the far end. The only place other than the floor, which got soaked by spillout between the glass partition and the glass door, since they didn't seal together at all, was on top of the toilet, and even that required one to step outside the cubile onto the now soaking wet floor to get it within reach.
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User: goulo
Date: 2012-05-14 07:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
At least you HAD a towel rack somewhere... :)

I sometimes run into showers with no towel rack at all nor any place to hang/lay clothes, and no shelf for soap or anything inside the shower. Pretty lazy minimalist shower design! :)
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Scott Raun
User: sraun
Date: 2012-05-13 20:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yet another reason for why my wife and I consider "architect" a four letter word. Or maybe the phrase "architect-designed".

The Twin Cities has a new home tour twice a year. It has been years since we looked at an architect-designed home that did not have serious livability problems. And don't get me started on modern kitchen designs - I mentioned work-triangle as a kitchen design concept to the builder rep at one home on the recent spring tour, and she didn't know what I was talking about!
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User: zxhrue
Date: 2012-05-14 06:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

speaking as an ex-professional and sandwich aficiando, that is one tasty looking sammy. would definitely require serious stoopage during the consumption process.
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User: supersniffles
Date: 2012-05-15 10:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The Santa Clara Hyatt has a bad bathroom design. The toilet paper spindle is on the wall behind (and kinda under) the toilet. The towel rack is so close to the toilet that putting a towel on it risks peeing on the towel. The sink is a 2 in. deep pan and the faucet is 10 in. above it resulting in massive splash. The doors are pocket doors that slide out from either side and meet in the middle, except they don't quite, so there's a gap which points directly at anyone sitting on the pot. Also, the doors are frosted glass, so you can see the silhouette of anyone inside.
I have long espoused the theory that anyone designing a bathroom/public toilet should be forced to use a mock-up of their design for at least a week before it gets put into production.
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