jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

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2014-08-25-0302Z

got my black salve back today from the friend who had borrowed it, and applied it to the new growth on my chin. it turned white within an hour or so. hoping things go as smoothly as they did last time. [comment]

2014-08-25-0104Z

this afternoon on Tomales, either a sheriff or park ranger boat approached the beach where we were having lunch and (gently) lectured us about the dog that one of our company had brought. no dogs were allowed on that side of the "elk fence". makes me wonder what they do with coyotes. [comment]

2014-08-24-1554Z

had a mini-epiphany on waking up: patriots in Ferguson aren't buckling under either, and their opposition has been supplemented by both state police and national guard, as well as, reportedly, some Blackwater-type mercenaries; something that didn't happen at Bundy Ranch. if Obama thought he'd finally get his trial run of martial law, as he attempted to do in Paterson, NJ back in 2009 and got a taste of in Boston, he was wrong. more later, but wanted to put that out there to those who criticize the Ferguson protesters for not being organized and armed as well as those at Bundy Ranch. the Huey P. Newton gun club might take care of the first part, and I think the self-organization went as well as it does anywhere. [comment]

2014-08-24-0609Z

weird! krauted watercress reminds me of the flavor of fiddleheads, or at least of my memory of the flavor of fiddleheads after cooking and adding vinegar as I vaguely remember it done growing up in Maine. [comment]

2014-08-22-0530Z

the batch of "kraut ceviche" (kraviche?) I made today had excellent texture and taste. this must already be a staple in the diets of some countries for hundreds of years. I can't have been the first to have tried it.

recipe: cut up any whitefish (I used Petrale Sole) into tiny strips and add to a batch of sauerkraut. add enough living kraut juice from another batch to cover. let cure at room temperature for at least 5 or 6 hours before eating. [comment]

2014-08-22-0136Z

sent my return shipping label to Staples online, it was ready to pick up in about two hours, so biked across town to get it. total cost: 10 cents. one distracted driver at the 4-way stop at 4 and B almost ran me over in slow motion, looking straight at me and not seeing. that damned gorilla again.

then on the way back there were 2 cars dragracing on McDowell approaching Washington. crazy shit. but I picked some watercress and mallow to kraut and I'm on the way home. [comment]

2014-08-21-2324Z

this is getting embarrassing. California is one of the few states in the nation in which open carry of long arms is illegal, due to a hoplophobic public, and too many people fear anything that looks as though it might be a gun, except of course when it's in the hands of police, who always exemplify virtue and good judgement.

Californians, get your goddamned act together. grow the fuck up. guns are tools, like umbrellas. the latter keeps one safe from rain, the former from robbers, rapists, and oathbreaking politicians and police. [comment]

2014-08-21-1747Z

I just figured it out. how could I have been so dense? America is being turned into a 3rd-world country deliberately, using the same ghettofication/gentrification tactics used in cities and neighborhoods forever. it's one of the easiest strategies for the rich getting richer, now that there's no more land to steal: make things intolerable so the middle-class people move out, driving down prices. over the next generation or 3, slowly buy it back and gentrify it, make it the next "big thing". rinse and repeat. buckle your seat belt, Dorothy. [comment]

2014-08-21-0856Z

found something on thinning urushi lacquer using pure turpentine or oil of camphor, and found a company that sells 100g of the lacquer for $41 including shipping from Amazon, or the apparently exact same product on eBay for $105 plus shipping.

either way beats the $515 plus $145 shipping for a single mg of 99% pure urushiol, if one just wishes to test his own reaction to the stuff neutralized with different household chemicals (or crabmeat!). [comment]

2014-08-21-0801Z

found an interesting article on urushiol. one thing new to me from it:

The treatment for the exposure to urushiol is as varied as the plants themselves. Curiously, both the Chinese and Native Americans treated exposure to urushiol by rubbing crab or crayfish meat on the affected area -- long before any resemblance of modern medicine or chemistry existed. [Thomas E.] Anderson also wrote that as far as he knew no present day research has been done on the effects of the crustaceans on urushiol, although the ancient Chinese had discovered that some property found in the animals stopped polymerizing.

another, even more interesting as it supports my hypothesis about the Northern California natives being immune to its effects:

An example of ACD [Allergic Contact Dermititis] that surprises many people is the occurrence of “mango mouth,” when someone eats a mango and then develops a red rash around their mouth. People already sensitized to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac can display mango dermatitis after their first contact. In Israel, a group of American tourists from Northern America engaged in mango picking and all 17 of them developed rashes. The three patients who had no prior exposure to urushiol experienced milder outbreaks. None of the 15 Israelis, showed any presence of mango dermatitis. Mangos only grow in a few areas of Israel, and many Israelis first come into contact with urushiol through ingestion, possibly creating immunological tolerance in the gut.

also see the cited references. excellent stuff. [comment]

2014-08-20-2106Z

when I got back Monday afternoon, I noticed my bike's rear wheel had been bent all out of shape. maybe the neighborhood thief didn't bring any cutters, and since it was locked to the fence, he just kicked the shit out of it for spite. [comment]

2014-08-20-0133Z

yesterday as soon as I got home, I desoldered the lamp part from one Ray-O-Vac headlamp and soldered it into the unit that had leaked salt water. in the process I found the source of the leak: where the cable from the taillamp entered the headlamp. the first one I had bought had a tight seal, but the ones I bought this year both did not. so after the repair I krazyglued both at that point to hopefully seal out any water. and now I have two working headlamps. I tweeted @rayovac and they responded, so I might even have 3 if customer service comes through.

tested my "vehicle" modeled off one I saw in La Paz, which has 4 swivel casters, and even on the smooth surface of the garage floor it spun around to the right without moving forward. I'm suspecting it's because I drilled the holes crooked. going to re-drill and try again. the concept seemingly must be sound if back-and-forth motion of the front "axle" (2x8) produces motion; it's just "rotary motion" and I want "forward motion".

made another batch of kraut with red cabbage and broccoli stems. the addition of wild mustard and fennel to the last batch turned out great. [comment]

2014-08-18-1457Z

in last night's dream I noticed gaps in my memory, such as it being dark out when, to my mind, it had been light out moments earlier. at first I thought I might have been drugged, then it occurred to me I could have died. so I looked at my hand and cursed; it was a misshapen hand with only 4 fingers. I looked again, and it had at least 5 but one finger was impossibly zigzagged. I was so upset at having died I woke up. [comment]

2014-08-13-2037Z

autopsied my two Ray-O-Vac headlamps. the one I wear every day had died due to the wires being stretched to the breaking point, I guess -- I didn't find the open but I found several broken strands. the spare, which got wet and leaked during the Kinetic Grand Championship this year, finally corroded to inoperability.

so I bought another one, and will try to build a working spare out of the two dead ones. [comment]

2014-08-12-1857Z

again looked up the holly-like plant I found in Tehama county a week or so ago. it's Mahonia, or Oregon-grape. doesn't look as though it contains any theobromine, as do many hollies (Ilex), so if I want a native stimulant I've got to keep looking. [comment]

2014-08-12-0410Z

ended my self-imposed exile from Lagunitas tonight, having been invited to see the band Lucius play their last US concert of the year before heading off to Europe. they are good. rock lives! [comment]

2014-08-08-0530Z

one of the primary laws for a libertarian state, if such a thing could ever exist, is: "No one shall be arrested for any non-violent act unless ey so agree". think about it: how can any state claim to have "consent of the governed" if it can cite and extort money from people who have not harmed anyone, and who don't agree with their bogus laws? now some people will likely agree, say someone who was speeding and is repentant about it. but it shouldn't be forced. Eric Garner would still be alive if his saying "it stops today!" could have been enough for the cop to stand down.

another point I might add about "consent of the governed" is that society must be armed to grant that consent, because a disarmed populace cannot effectively withhold consent. [comment]

2014-08-07-0558Z

just took a shower, and noticed a lump just above my groin I've never seen before. it's about the size of a quail egg. scary. [comment]

2014-08-06-2047Z

an old satellite dish can indeed be used to boost the signal to a router. just mount it so that one antenna is inside of the focus, and aim it at the intended uplink. [comment]

2014-08-05-1829Z

THC is number 6. I have no idea what this means, but someone insisted I share it. details at a later date, if ever. [comment]

2014-08-05-0239Z

went ahead and gave it the old dd-wrt 30-30-30 reset, and now repeater mode works as advertised. annoying that that seems to fix things, because it doesn't edify. [comment]

2014-08-05-0103Z

installing dd-wrt over freifunk, nothing works as it should. finally went into Advanced Routing, found it was set to OLSR Router, then set it to Gateway. now it works as a client but not as a repeater; no SSID is being broadcast.

got an idea for Trader Joe's: rebrand some wine as William Shaw and raise the price to $2.99. you're welcome.

only a few plums left along plum creek, and those are inexplicably underripe. plenty of blackberries, and there's a lot of watercress and spearmint growing in the shallow, slow-moving areas of the creek.

found what appeared to be a holly at first, yesterday, but jogging around the area this morning I saw more of it that had blue berries. I can't remember what it is, but it's not an Ilex. [comment]

2014-08-04-1722Z

successfully de-stunk my socks, sweaters, and ultraclava last night with 20 drops each of MMS and activator. problem is, my sweaters now have a burn hole through them, and the MMS is going to have to be prime suspect. got to keep the liquid off the clothing and let the chlorine dioxide do its work. but last night I put the drops directly on my socks, and they don't seem to have been adversely affected. [comment]

2014-08-03-1240Z

microbatch of sauerkraut I made the other day came out great with about 5 minutes work. doesn't have to be a big production; half a smallish head to a quart jar. cut it up, smash it into the jar with a 1 inch or larger dowel or stick, adding kosher salt as you go, then top it off with water, covering loosely. 3 or 4 days later, it's done.

last night, put my smelly socks, sweaters, and ultraclava in a drybag. into one corner, I put about 10 drops MMS and an equal or greater amount of 50% citric acid. sealed the drybag and left it overnight; almost smell-free this morning. got to try 20 drops next time. this would be a huge water saver if it can be made to work reliably. [comment]

2014-08-01-0319Z

I've been noticing lately I no longer get winded climbing up La Cresta. I wonder if, though the MMS treatment didn't noticeably help my post-nasal drip, it improved my lung function. [comment]

2014-08-01-0022Z

an antitamper T10 bit is needed to open a Craftsman 19.2V drill battery pack. inside are 16 1.2V C cells, presumably NiMH. bought some more trailer extensions to make more modular power adapters.

had this idea for a while to use old wicker baskets for starting clones of Ilex Cornuta and other plants I wish to cultivate. when they start to develop roots I should be able to plant the whole thing, and the root system can eventually just push the wicker apart.

had ice cream for brunch today, a small container of Three Twins chocolate at Whole Foods. disappointed that neither the lid nor the cup had anything stamped on them regarding recyclability or compostability.

just woke up from a siesta on La Cresta ridge. so far nobody has stolen any of my stuff. the big test will be the 6 months I'm in Mexico. [comment]

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