THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 533 August 25 - 31, 2008
Highlights this week:
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August 25, 2008
I slept in today and feel better for it. You may find the notes in View and Mail from yesterday worth your time.
Tim Kyger, who was at the conference and rode with Niven, Henry Vanderbilt, and me from El Paso to Alamogordo (Fat Cottonwood, according to Roberta) sends this:
I'm about a week late with this email message. Sorry about that. Family, job, etc., etc. You know the drill.
The book you want is Single Stage to Orbit by Dr. Andrew Butrica.
I can't *believe* the hardcover, new, price. $45?! Geez.
And you should see the following review of the DC-X reunion. You're quite well featured (IMHO): <http://thespacereview.com/article/1196/1>
== Tim Kyger
The review is fairly comprehensive and if you're interested in the conference it's a good summary (and yes, it does say some nice things about me).
on Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl L-Carnatine. The article was quite favorable. Apparently there is evidence -- sketchy not decisive, but definitely evidence -- that these help slow down aging and Alzheimer's. As it happens I have been taking these for several years now without quite recalling why I take them. I think Jim Baen worked it out that they would have some of the effects of SAMe back when the US government was protecting us from SAMe, and I got in the habit of taking them. They are included in the commercial supplement REJUVENON but what I take is generic and a lot less expensive: I get the Alpha Lipoic Acid from Trader Joe's, and the Acetyl L-Carnatine from Great Earth; both are also sold by the Life Extension Foundation. Mind you the evidence is that if you are under 50 or so they won't do you a bit of good, and I am not recommending that you go out and buy this at any age, but if you are getting up there with me, you might look into this. I take a LOT of supplements including SAMe, so it's hard to determine the effect of any one set of stuff -- and I am not about to run the experiment of going without something just to see. I do a lot of silly things so you don't have to, but that's not one of them.
But I do seem to have reached 75 without too many setbacks, and very few mental problems, even with the 50,000 rads. Thursday I go back to my radiation oncologist to decide on what happens next, but the big bad tumor seems to have shrunk and stopped growing, and while the radiation sickness continues, things get a little better every day. Even my hearing seems to be improving, very slightly -- it's a lot worse than it was before all this nonsense started, but then my hearing hasn't been all that good since 1950. Anyway we need to decide where I should concentrate all my treatment efforts. My primary physician is at Kaiser Panorama City, as is the oncologist who first decided I had a problem (from my blood work) but all the radiation treatment facilities, the neurosurgeon, the oncologist, and the radiation oncologist are at Kaiser Sunset. It's agreed I ought to see an EENT about my hearing; I've seen one at Panorama City but that was early on, and he found nothing of interest and isn't likely to remember me anyway.
Anyway, this week we decide on medical management. I have considerable confidence in all of them, particularly the primary care man who I don't want to lose. Probably I'll end up going to Sunset for the tumor and stay at Panorama city for everything else. But we'll see.
Sorry to chatter on so about my own problems.
For those who have asked, I am beginning to work on THE MASK ON THE WALL, my book about all this. I am also getting back to Mamelukes. Thanks to all of those who have subscribed and renewed; that pretty well got me through all this without wiping out savings. I still need the subscriptions, but at least I am getting closer to publication time for ESCAPE FROM HELL; that will bring a publication payment. The trade paperback reissue of INFERNO will be out in September (you can preorder from Amazon now). And of course EXILE -- AND GLORY is out from Baen, and everyone who has read it says it reads as if it were written today. Alas. It's supposed to be about the world as it would be in about 2020; but we didn't make the progress I had hoped for. I may combine the Exile universe with the one Charlie Sheffield and I created in HIGHER EDUCATION ( I think you can still find copies of that). There are some good stories in an asteroid civilization -- and it may also be useful in illustrating both the degeneracy of current societies and what is available given freedom and resources.
And the Platinum Subscriptions, which will let me work on what I think is most important (that certainly includes finishing Janissaries) continue to come in. Not quite as quickly as I had hoped, but probably better than I had any right to expect. Anyway, thanks to all of you.
It doesn't look as if A STEP FARTHER OUT and the sequel ANOTHER STEP FARTHER OUT (never published) will take all that much work to get into shape for publication in one or another form, probably a Tor hardbound. I haven't even though about a publisher for a revised Strategy of Technology; the university press that put that out has vanished. The DC/X reunion made it clear that both those books are still needed: the "peace through arms control and technology suppression" crowd is back with a vengeance and fills much of the federal civil service; and the hard and practical reasons for going to space seem to have been lost.
So it's back to work.
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|This week:||Tuesday, August
1300: I slept in till 1100, having been up late walking the dog and trying to get some writing done. I don't really have any comments on the Democratic convention. The most liberal man in the Senate chose the 3rd most liberal man in the Senate, and the second most liberal man in the Senate made what amounted to the keynote speech (although a $300,000 a year PR person gave the formal keynote).
This is McGovern all over again. McGovern carried, what, two states? If Obama were not black, he would not have taken the nomination, and he would not be thought to have any chance whatever of winning the election.
There is a great deal of excellent mail on many different subjects, and it's probably time to clear up a lot of it. I'll get started on that.
And there is a discussion of higher education that may be worth your time.
August 27, 2008
No blip for Obama with Biden, but perhaps after Hillary? Her speech was good, but whether it was effective for Obama is another story. The clean and articulate Senator with one speech and 140 days in the Senate has taken the prize from the hard working women who thought this ought to have been her coronation.
The election is not over.
There is more discussion of education and other matters in mail.
I sent this message to selected subscribers today:
I am sure none of you will fall for this, but you might warn colleagues. The message included below is a scam. Equally important, do NOT try to "unsubscribe". There seem to be many of these fake "official Microsoft" being sent, probably enough that their very volume will serve as a warning.
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August 28, 2008
I have an appointment with the radiation oncologist this morning. Wish me luck.
My fatigue may be due to sleep problems, but I should be about over the radiation sickness. In a word, I am in great shape for a man of my age. Now all I have to do is convince myself so that I get back to work.
It's taking a while for that to sink in.
The new Kindle has arrived, and all is well. Story in the column.
Now I no longer have excuses: I have to get to work. There's a lot to do just to catch up.
August 29, 2008
We are off to the beach place for the weekend, so it will be evening before I can work on this site. My thanks to all who sent congratulations and well wishes.
I'm still adjusting to being cancer free. Now to work on the sleep problem. And to just plain work: I will get started on Mamelukes over the weekend.
Our friend Joe Zeff takes care of the house, and walks Sable. She likes him.
I put up a lot of mail yesterday. I'll get more up tonight. I also need to work on the column.
McCain just announced his choice, and we've heard her speech. Interesting that the Obama people have already started pounding on her: she was mayor of a small town, and has no foreign policy experience, and... This should be fun, but I do not think it is good strategy for Obama.
Sarah Palin, governor of a state about the size of Delaware. Mother of five, with one son who has joined the army and will be deployed (Prince Harry?). And quite dynamic. Pretty and perky. Conservative, NRA member, husband in the oil production business. She looks genuine, not political. This will make things interesting.
My father was general manager and part owner of KBYR in Anchorage, and is credited by insiders with getting statehood for Alaska through a campaign directed at the airmen at the local Air Force Base: they were of course from anywhere BUT Alaska, and many members of Congress were startled to have letters from their constituents demanding Alaska statehood. E Doc Pournelle was offered nomination as Senator, but he wasn't interested in politics. I'd like to say I learned something about Alaska politics from my parents, but in fact I never lived there. (I did go to the University of Washington because Alaska residents were residents of Washington State for tuition purposes; the Korean GI Bill paid a fixed amount rather than tuition and stipend, so that was important when I left Iowa.)
There will be much about experience. Palin has not much more than Obama, but she does not have an agenda of "change". To what would Obama change us? He hasn't said, but his ideology is clear. I'd prefer not to be changed to what he wants.
So: we have the most liberal Senator and the third most liberal Senator, one with no experience in anything, the other with 30 years of advocating the wrong policies. Obama is indistinguishable from McGovern in ideology -- we don't know what his policies would be but we can guess from ideology -- and McGovern carried two states. This should be interesting.
And now I have to pack.
1630 Safely in San Diego, with my system all set up. I'll see what I can do to catch up now.
I am working with XP and my T42p ThinkPad, and Outlook 2003. I don't know how I put up with this as long as I did. Vista and the Quad 6600 with Outlook 2007 is a great deal smoother and doesn't have all the hesitation glitches.
August 30, 2008
1100: slept in. Feels good.
The nose pump I sometimes mention has a site link and sometimes the server goes mad and demands passwords. Which you can ignore at which point it all goes away. They'll fix it. They always do.
Everyone seems to be talking about Sarah Palin, which is probably all to the good. As to Alaska and Delaware, they both have three (3) electoral votes, making them politically equivalent states. I am aware that Delaware was the first state to join the Union and Alaska was the next-to-last (so far). I also know that Delaware is a bit smaller in area but has a somewhat larger population. They still each have three (3) electoral votes.
As I have said elsewhere, according to both the ADA and the ACU Obama is the most liberal of the senators, and Biden is third most. Someone mentioned Kerry: I point out that Obama was not in the Senate when Kerry reported for duty as candidate for president. On issues where you can find a record, Obama is indistinguishable from McGovern. Were he not black the superdelegates would have bounced him first thing: that is why the Democrats invented superdelegates, a sort of anti-McGovern insurance. McGovern carried one state and the District of Columbia. The superdelegates mostly hold elective office.
The American people identify themselves as moderate to conservative. To the extent that we can identify Obama's policies, he appears to have about the same as McGovern did. I expect that will become reasonably well known over the next few months. Now it is possible that Obama will overcome this handicap by sheer personality and charisma, but it is by no means inevitable. Most of us understand that change is not always reform, and much change is for the worse. Of course Obama will triangulate to the center as quickly as possible. McCain doesn't need to do that; the country club Republicans of which he is a prime example have always tried to claim the political center, to the dismay of the conservative Republicans. Palin will undoubtedly stay where she has always been, conservative personally and libertarian-republican politically. Were matters left to her, she would leave a great number of issues to the states -- as would I. I'd rather see her President than McCain, but we live with the choices we have.
Mr. Heinlein once speculated that we ought to reserve high political office for women with children because they tend to see things a bit more realistically. While I didn't necessarily agree with him, I never won the argument with him. On the other hand, Robert used to take positions for the sheer fun of it. (Actually I think he'd have preferred that anyone elected be a woman with children who could solve quadratic equations in her head, but he never went quite that far in public statements. Ginny never had children, but she could certainly do the math....)
We do live in interesting times.
I find that the egregious Frum does not like Palin. That confirms my immediate reaction in her favor...
August 31, 2008
At the beach. Family have come down. Roberta is bouncing grand daughter. I've posted a lot of mail, much of it interesting.
Two years after radiation a 20 year old girl still has a lack of energy...
Thanks. I'll look into this. I do know that I wanted to sleep all day but forced myself not to, and so far no harm has come from that.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the weekly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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