June 1st, 2014

NASA_bighead

A Great Lake is Gone

jaylake Is gone, for me his big claim to fame was journaling about his extensive cancer treatments. I started reading them here, but stopped about two years ago when they became a chore. He wrote a LOT. Looking at his LJ page, I see he stopped posting here in January. Things popped up on FB from time to time, we have a lot of mutual friends, almost all of whom knew him well.

I only knew him from a distance. I bought a very pretty coffee table book of his, Greetings From Lake Wu, mostly for artist Frank Wu's images. Frank was a regular at BASFA meetings. Reading his journal entries, I figured I should reads one of his books. Rocket Science (his first book) came to me by way of an auction, I think. It was okay, kind of Young Adult, showed some imagination but did not blow me away with writing style.  It was a long time before I read his first major novel, Mainspring. It took a long time to read. I think it would be fair to call it one of the first steampunk-ish novels, creating a world which ran, literally, like clockwork. Very imaginative. But again, his style was not a page-turner for me, and the inventions were not interesting to me. The operative phrase is "to me". Man of my friends are all aglow at the mention of clockworks and steampunk and Jay's writing style.

One thing is for certain, Jay was larger than life. I have a tough time believing that Science, which he loved dearly, did not triumph over his cancer. Or that such a huge personality succumbed to it.

Where some people faced with a prognosis as serious of his would crawl into the nearest hospice, Jay kept authoring and editing and partying and going to cons and readings and helping his friends. I don't think he did the skydiving, racing car driving thing, but it wouldn't have surprised me.

Like many large men, his fashion sense trended to Hawaiian shirts. Unlike many large men, it also trended to tie-died socks.

Having known him only from afar, I will miss him from afar.
NASA_bighead

Whale watching

Up at 7, checked out at 8:15, got the best parking spot down by the docks, and walked around, sat around, prepped the camera, spf-50ed my face, being careful to not put any in my eyebrows or where it would run into my eyes.

It took more than an hour to find a whale. Another hour to find two more. And then suddenly, as it was getting to be time to turn around, we were surrounded by a pod of about 6 Humpbacks, with passengers running all over the boat when just staying where you were was the best choice. I missed the best shot of the day when a whale right in front of me waved his flipper. My camera strap got caught on the bench. Got a lot of tail pictures and many hump pictures, but we only saw breachings from miles away, so no spectacular jump photos.

Drove back right away, had plenty of munchies in the car to not need to grab lunch.

Had a few scares, and I am blaming the Bonine. Found myself blanking out for seconds at a time, coming to when the car hit the braille dots or the fog line. Pulled off, poured water over my head (which helped) but stopped in King City only 1/3 of the way home for a light snack at Denny's. Made a couple more safety stops along the way. For some of the trip having the windows open helped, but not when it was 90° in the valley.

Called Janice at 4:30 left a message that we could get together at 5:30 if she still wanted to (original target was 5, she was going to be coming back from Disneyland). No answer, so I went straight home.

I felt buzzed. Took off my pants and took a nap. Domino stayed at the foot of the bed guarding me. Slept for 2 hours. Had to put my pants back on because it's garbage/recycle day tomorrow which meant changing the litterbox, collecting garbage bags, breaking down all the cardboard boxes from the past month except the ones the telescope came in (maybe next week - they are BIG and need to be cut down).

Uploaded the photos from the camera. Almost all the ones from the harbor cruise yesterday were blurry and overexposed. Don't know what happened there. Sigma lens may not have linked to the Nikon electronics correctly.

Lots of sequences of diving tails. Some cute sea lion snaps. And a video of a bunch of sea lions out to sea. We saw hundreds. No orcas, no gray or blue whales.

Siting here typing I still feel like I am on a rocking boat. Hmmm.

Dinner was a pot pie and ice cream.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work
may skip BASFA because it will probably be a Jay Lake cryfest.