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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2006-06-20-1410Z

Catching up on my dream reports... night before last, I awoke from a strange experience in which I was in a big department store with a lot of suitcases and boxes, needing to go buy this or that but not being able to carry my stuff around with me and not willing to leave it. Then I find myself walking through the back of the store, which has a lot of lawn furniture and other large items, and going down an escalator or stairs to a lower floor. I go through a door and there are a lot of little black girls, some of them talking to me. They are all pretty, and talking animatedly with beautiful smiles, but all have some deformity or another, for example one was smacking a boil over her eye and causing pus and blood to squirt out. An older black woman, apparently in charge of the place, was explaining to me that the mothers of the children were drug addicts and that the toxins caused these birth defects. I then went from there to a lower floor, somehow, where there were scientists in white lab coats. A rickety open elevator was already heading up with one or more of them, but when they saw me, they brought it back down to let me on. I saw the buttons, and the floors were labeled in engraved metal in a cursive style; the third floor, the store to which I wanted to return, was labeled Farmer's Market.

Later that same night, or rather after daybreak when I was still sleeping, I had another strange dream in which I was talking out loud, presumably into some type of recording device, reporting to my superiors on an incident with a spaceship, the hull of which was whitish, plain, looking more like the body of a large car with no windows or doors. I was winding up something that looked like an orange yo-yo that fit into a box about the size of a deck of cards.

In neither of the dreams was the protagonist "me". It's as though I were going to alternate universes and being someone else for a short time. The people whose bodies I "took over" probably experienced blackouts for the interim.

Now last night, I (or another person whose body I was inhabiting) was looking down from a bridge or something onto a large flat stone area that had been artfully written upon with various colored paints, ostensibly teaching some modern spelling system using ancient Egyptian heiroglyphs. As I was reading, suddenly the "page" below me changed to another, as if it were a computer screen and not painted granite. On this page were several examples, one of which was the word "biker", with the intermediary transcription "baika" and the supposed heiroglyphic spelling. On awakening, I realized the glyphs were not Egyptian at all, but rather more like hiragana or some other system using planetary symbols and other runes.

That brings to mind another common theme in my dreams, one in which printed pages, as in a book, can "spring to life" and show a short animated sequence. Lately when this happens I think "Wow, this used to happen in my dreams but this time it's real". Then, of course, I wake up! [comment]

2006-06-16-1525Z

Just started, a few days ago, feeling motivated to do some serious programming work again. Only took me a little over 4 months to recover from my last 4-month effort which ended February 1. A real go-getter, I am.

My tailbone healed finally, so I'd be in pretty good shape if I could control my drinking better. The toxicity has reduced my sex drive and caused a strange chemical smell in my mouth. It would be really great if I could find something I enjoy drinking as much as beer.

Still haven't made up my mind if I want to go traveling this year or not. I'd like to meet some of my Orkut friends in Brazil, see the Gaviotas community in Colombia, and check out some cities in Mexico like Mazatlán and Acapulco. But then again I really want a good, waterproof, wearable computer next time I travel, not this klunky laptop. And I won't likely have the money to do both. [comment]

2006-06-07-2023Z

Rescued the N-connector from the trash and finally found a way to get it all together. But testing has shown it's no better than the built-in antenna. So I'm going to try to have to fasten a reflector to it (I left that step out) and try again.

Finished James Michener's Space this morning. A pretty good read, but all the people in it are too entrenched in the Matrix.

Ran out of Lagavulin, so don't expect any if you stop by the shebeen. There's still plenty of Laphroaig 15 though. And the Guinness hadn't gone flat last I checked, but it's not cold either. [comment]

2006-06-02-1458Z

A week or so ago, clowning around, I jumped off my neighbor's deck, about 6 feet above the ground -- my feet went out from under me when I landed, and I hit the ground hard on my tailbone. The pain seems to be getting worse day by day instead of better. I don't think I broke it though.

I tried building a biquad antenna yesterday, and though I didn't bend the wire quite right, I was just about done when I tried brazing the N-connector to the piece of steel tubing I was using. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Of course the plastic core of the connector melted and I ruined it. Now I have to buy another N-connector and find a better way of mounting it.

My wireless network is behaving really well lately, minimal packet loss. And it reaches some of the farthest points in City of the Sun. One neighbor bought a new WRT54G, though, version 6, and I can't find a WDS option in the setup and can't get WhiteRussian RC4 to load. I'll probably try RC5 today.

We're looking into alternatives for our sewage lagoon before the EPA shuts us down a year or so from now. Although I and most of my immediate neighbors compost their own shit, there are too many residents depending on flush toilets, so this is a problem we need to solve. Lordsburg, NM has a nice system using no chemicals, just aerators in the lagoons and 3 ponds stocked with fish and surrounded by grasses. It's a beautiful wetlands area with an amazing variety of bird life. Doesn't look like we'll be able to do that here though; Lordsburg gets over 200,000 gallons of waste a day due to their proximity to I-10, whereas we don't likely get 1% of that.

This morning, annoyed with the constant screaming, I opened up my Black and Decker 400W inverter and removed the goddamned piezo buzzer. It's a BX-1209y. If I can find out what its current-handling capacity is, I'd like to try some experiments with a pest-control buzzer, driven by my computer, playing Bach or Mozart at several octaves above normal, out of human hearing range. That way I can hopefully drive out the termites while still having a pleasant "sound" in case my ears pick any of it up. [comment]

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