Other Places I Post

I have two other LJs: cosmusic, coslinks

See what links I've been reading on del.icio.us (coslinks),
 and what links I've been posting on reddit (cos).
Update: I abandoned delicious in 2016 after they'd been deterioriating for a few years, and I now post links on pinboard instead.

Photos: Some from the 90s on my old web site, newer ones on Flickr (cospics) and most recent (pretty much anything since 2006) on Facebook
Videos: YouTube (youcos)

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May 20th

Earlier this week I intended to make a post this morning noting that it is now two weeks after Ceila and I got Moderna shot #2. That is still true, but it turns out today is also the day my father died. Both are things I have known were coming for about the same amount of time.

In April 2014 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We thought he had a year, or two. He got the Whipple operation, which can often give people a couple more years. He got 7.

He completely beat the cancer, and it never came back, but the whipple procedure has some damaging effects that hardly ever make themselves felt because so few people live this long after having it. Last year, one of those after-effects acted up in spring and into summer and we thought we'd lose him, but he cheated death again. I spent 4 months in Boston and returned to Seattle when it looked like they had it beaten and we'd got some more years. But another, related problem kicked in this April.

I learned about it shortly after Ceila and I got the first Moderna shot in early April. When we came back from that adventure, I wrote my parents to tell them about it, and that I'd come out to visit them after full immunity in late May. A few days later, they got in touch to tell me that late May might be too late, if the hospital couldn't figure out some treatment option. I flew out in April instead. The night before my flight is when we learned that there were no options, and this was it. When I arrived, we didn't know if he'd have a week, or a month, just that it was very unlikely to be much more than a month.

He stuck around for three more weeks of mostly coherent and able to hang out in the living room and have conversations. Many friends visited. Two sets of family from Israel visited. He made it to his 79th birthday, Friday. Monday evening, it still seemed like he might even make it to June, and we were still having conversations. Then on Tuesday night his condition took a dive, and he lasted less than two more days. He had reached his goals of getting to see everyone important to him in the last few weeks, and he did not want to linger.


A good friend just flew out of town yesterday to spend time with her mother who is on hospice care, also from pancreatic cancer.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)

Know anyone who wants a room in Central Square?

A couple of rooms available one of my 3-bedroom apartments in Central Square, Cambridge, for the summer.

It's just a couple of blocks from Mass Ave and the T, but on a very quiet block. Shared laundry in the basement.

One of my tenants on the 2nd floor wants to stay for the summer, after their current lease ends on May 31st. I told her I'm happy to extend for 3 months, if she and whoever she finds to sublet will pay the full rent, so she's going to do it if she can find people to take the other two rooms (or one person to take both, or whatever arrangement). Currently, the other two rooms are paying $980/month, so it'll probably be approximately that.

If you know anyone interested, I can put them in touch with her.

(And if she can't find people and commit to extend soon, then the whole place is available June 1st, for 3k/month)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)

Vaccination adventure

Ceila became eligible for making a vaccine appointment at the beginning of the month, while I'm still not eligible (to even make an appointment) - she has health conditions, something I pretty much entirely lack. Usually a good thing!

She searched, couldn't find any appointment slots near us in Seattle, so searched farther and farther out... and found one for April 8th! ... in Sequim, WA, 2.5-3 hours away by car, including a ferry ride (or 3 hours the long way, without the ferry).

I've been to Sequim once before, a long time ago, on my own - it's near Port Angeles and the northern section of Olympic National Park, which I've wanted to go to again with Ceila for the past few years but we hadn't done yet. Excellent excuse for a day trip, with her appointment in the late afteroon so plenty of time for a nice hike if we left early.

Riding a ferry was pretty cool, it's been probably more than two decades since the last time I was on a car ferry. Even better: We had to stop and wait for orcas! Ceila actually spotted them on our side of the ferry (we were parked by the edge) well before the announcement, so we got to watch them for a while. And since we'd been planning to hike, we had our good binoculars.

Near the end of the ferry ride we also saw a pair of pigeon guillemots appearing to kiss. Kind of turning around each other and touching beaks gently several times.

We did get the planned hike, from a lake up to a nice waterfall. And then her vaccination appointment, at the pharmacy inside a huge Safeway supermarket. And then, as I was getting groceries waiting for her to come out... she came and brought me back there to get a shot. They had a few no-shows earlier in the day, this was now the end of the day, and they had to use their extra doses before they expired, so I got one that was meant for someone that morning probably.

Now we both have appointments for Moderna shot #2 in Sequim in early May. I think we'll go out there the evening before and stay in a motel and have more time. It'll be the beginning of shorebird season! And perhaps more of Olympic will be open (a lot of it is closed for winter still).

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)


Having almost finished the regular mushrooms, I put mushrooms on our shopping list. Ceila was the next to go to the store, and bought shiitake mushrooms, a bit different from what I expected. A few days later...

Me: "I've been using the shiitake mushrooms and found that there are a few foods that they don't go as well with as the regular mushrooms."

Her: "You mean they're not fungible?"

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)

A new frontier in spam

I got spam email with subject line "Deal" and message body just "I have a deal for you." Just that, nothing more. It's not a multipart message with an HTML version, it's just text/plain.

Maybe they're just fishing to see who responds. But spam with no typos or awkward grammar? Bold move!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)

New Georgia Senators

John Ossoff with Cos and Audra at campaign office door

Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff just got sworn in yesterday, after the inauguration, because the Georgia runoff election results only got certified on Tuesday.

Almost four years earlier, Jon Ossoff made his first run for elected office when he ran for Congress in Georgia's 6th district in a special election in spring 2017. I'd been planning to visit Audra in Georgia during that time so I extended the trip so we could spend a few days canvassing for him, and we got to meet him at a campaign office we were volunteering out of.

It was supposed to be a solidly Republican district but that's when the reaction to Trump really started showing, and to much surprise the race was competitive. He ended up losing by about 3 points to a Republican, who in turn got knocked out by Democrat Lucy McBath in 2018 - she got re-elected in 2020, so that district has shifted. Even though we didn't succeed in 2017, I hope Ossoff's efforts helped make that shift and that the time we spent contributed a bit to that. And now he's a US Senator!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)

Mask questions

Considering only their effectiveness at a) slowing the spread of covid-19 and b) protecting you from covid-19, in public and grocery stores and similar (that is, I'm not asking about bacteria, fungus, healthcare settings, etc.)...

  • If an N95 mask doesn't quite fit as tightly as it should, is it still significantly better than all surgical & cloth masks? Or does the imperfect make it likely not much better than a surgical mask?

  • I've seen it claimed that multi-layer cloth masks are better than actual approved surgical masks. I'm very skeptical. But is there some validity to this claim?

  • Is there any difference between US N95 masks and Chinese KN95 masks for this purpose? Other than the fact that I've never figured out how to actually fit a KN95 to my face :) But aside from the fit, are they effectively exactly the same thing (for this purpose)?

If you have helpful references or sources for answers to any of these questions, I'd like to read!

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)

Transfer of power

Until now, the US had a very long history of peaceful democratic transfers of power. That is very decidedly over. This violent coup attempt failing will not change the fact that this transfer of power will not have happened peacefully, even though we get the legitimately elected government at the end of it.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth - link to original post (comment count unavailable comments on DW)