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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MrCreditRepair.biz will fix your credit rating!

2006-08-31-1617Z

Had my first BM in BM this morning, after drinking the first beer I'd had all week yesterday. I was way out on the playa coming back from the Man, having been playing with the FutureVision device: apparently a fairly simple electronic contraption which pulses LEDs onto your closed eyelids and makes patterns for your brain to tie together into patterns and stories. It didn't really work for me but other people were tripping out big-time. I'll have to find a circuit diagram for that and build one at home. [comment]

2006-08-29-0307Z

Yesterday afternoon I got a ride from Twin City Surplus with a cool couple named Steve and Suzanne. A couple of Israeli guys were there ahead of me, and Suzanne offered rides to all of us. We stayed the night at Pyramid Lake where we partied with some other Burners, some naked, some clothed, then the next morning headed to Black Rock City. I'm camped at about 6:15 and Guess Street.

I saw a guy windskating on a dirtboard! Next year for sure I gotta bring mine. I'll have to find a way to disguise it as luggage for the philistines at Greyhound. [comment]

2006-08-27-1421Z

Eating all that meat, almost to the point of gagging, last night turned out to be good for me. Only one BM so far this morning, and no noticeable smell. And I drank the same two pints of beer last night also, although the first was Sierra Nevada and the second Spaten Lager (I can't believe this would have made the difference, but you never know). Another indication is that when I scraped my tongue there was no noticeable residue; usually there's a thick white layer, putrid-smelling, that comes off on my fingernails.

Update on the Reno bus system: the 15 bus takes you right to the shopping center with the Wal-Mart, but that one has no food store. There is, however, a supermarket (warehouse-type, like Food 4 Less) in the same shopping center. The 2S passes close to one of the places for natural chorizo, Butcher Boy Meat & Deli in Sparks at the corner of K and Rock. And the RTC Intercity passes the other, off Carson Street south of E. Musser. Also confirmed that the 11 will take me to the rideshare place, Twin City Surplus. A $4 day pass is actually good for 24 hours, unlike that of LA or San Diego.

Pissed away a little over $20 in the slots last night, trying to stay awake. I still think it beats spending $30 or more for a hotel room. At least I had the chance, however small, of getting my money back. [comment]

2006-08-27-1343Z

Before I forget yet again: I noticed something before I left that might warrant further research. After the big rain a few weeks ago I put a little oil (olive oil, as I had no other) floating on top of the water in my roof catchment cistern. At that time, a few days after the rain, the mosquito larvae were already squiggling on the surface, so of course the oil cut off their oxygen and they died. After subsequent rains, the oil spilled over the top and no longer covered the water, but no more larvae appeared. Hundredth monkey phenomenon? Spirits of the dead larvae telling living mosquitoes not to lay their eggs there? Weird. Or maybe, more believably, there is still an invisible oil layer. [comment]

2006-08-27-1315Z

I not only found a local source for chorizo on this webpage but apparently also an authentic recipe like that used to make Palacios. Finally! Doubly good because I have not found the 9-oz. summer sausage like what was at the El Paso Wal-Mart -- only the larger ones, several pounds, which I would not be able to eat before they would begin to spoil.

Here's a copy of the recipe in case that webpage disappears:

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients, keep in cool place for 3 days -- mix a few times a day. Take a little each day and make a patty, fry up and taste. Add salt or garlic as you like. After it is ready, put in casing hang and let dry.

The old way is to bruise the garlic then put in several cheese cloth bags throughout the mixture, turn 3-4 times a day then remove before stuffing. Or use 2 or more tbsps garlic juice. Or put thru garlic press and leave in.

Coating with lard or olive oil may suffice to preserve chorizos instead of refrigeration. But Palacios doesn't require even that. [comment]

2006-08-27-0249Z

The first steak was too dry, so I asked for this one a little well done. I asked my waitress, Vicki, if the chef's name is George Tatakis, she said no. I explained that I used to work for a chef who despised people who ordered their steaks well-done, and he'd deliberately turn their steak into a slab of smoldering charcoal just to punish them for what he considered ruining a perfectly good steak. Good old George. Wonder if he's still kicking. If a waitress would report "my customer says, 'give my compliments to the chef'", he'd reply "Compliments my ass, tell him to buy us a beer!" And sometimes they would. He was good enough to get away with that shit. I always wanted to be as good at what I was doing so I could get away with shit too... I think I accomplished that during my working career. Naturally, I had my share of fuckups along the way. Some people I'll never be able to repay... such is life. I still kick myself, mentally, now and then for the mistakes I made, and the unfulfilled promises, and the pain I caused both in my personal life and professional life. But I can't go back and do it over as in the movie The Butterfly Effect. I get over it, pick myself up, and move on. Those whom I wronged, deliberately or inadvertently, will also, or they'll die hating me (or both). [comment]

2006-08-27-0225Z

The Phở tasted good, but due to the noodles it left a net acid effect on my system until now; went into the Sands Regency, was pointed to the buffet upstairs by a young dude to whom I lent my laptop earlier today at the Starbucks, and am pigging out on proteins: beef, salmon, and chicken. OK, so I ate just a little Pasta Pomadoro too, it looked so good. [comment]

2006-08-26-1913Z

I'd been looking for the Korean restaurant I saw last night, but no luck. So I'm in a Vietnamese restaurant, the Golden Flower west of Circus Circus, and ordered a big bowl of various types of beef (Phở). Xe Lữa, or something like that.

I slept for a little while at the park surrounding the rapids at the south end of the center city. After this, I'll have change to catch the bus out to REI and see if I can exchange my leaky Katadyn filter bag. [comment]

2006-08-26-1438Z

I just got paid! Things are looking up. Now to go to an ATM for some cash, then try to figure out the Reno transit system...

Note to self: two pints of beer is too much poison for my system... three trips to the toilet so far and no guarantee that it's over yet. When will I ever learn? Maybe Trimpey was right, and I'll have to stop drinking altogether. But damn, I don't want to! Is that me talking, or the BEAST? [comment]

2006-08-26-1006Z

The Blind Onion Pizza Pub is another friendly place, and I spent the last of my money there... hoping to get paid early today! [comment]

2006-08-26-0706Z

My bartender, Robbie, just offered me a sample of Skinny Dip, a New Belgium light beer. Very tasty, but weak compared to the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I'm already enjoying. I like this place. [comment]

2006-08-26-0649Z

I tried two bars, no se aceptan plastico. Then ran across the Keystone Cue & Cushion, which not only accepts credit cards, but has some decent beers on tap including Newcastle, and it's only $3.50 a pint. Not bad for a big-money city like Reno. No wifi here, but SaintMarysPublicInternet is reachable from the bus stop outside Sands, a few blocks away. [comment]

2006-08-26-0121Z

Starbucks closed; went a few more blocks and found Temple Fine Coffee and Tea at 1014 10th St. Free wifi for customers, the way it ought to be... The Chai is way too sweet for me, ah well... [comment]

2006-08-26-0032Z

At the Sacramento Greyhound station, if your layover time permits, walk around the block and you'll see a Starbucks. There's an electrical outlet on the back wall, and there's at least one unsecured wifi AP to use. The one I'm on has the SSID of Wireless, and it's very intermittent so I'm not sure if I'll be able to upload or not. [comment]

2006-08-25-0255Z

In case I didn't make it clear: after Greyhound refused to take my windskate without my paying extra, I stayed overnight in El Paso, of course at the Open Air Hotel, suffering the mosquitos for the privilege of a free night's sleep. The next morning I dragged my ass back over the border, caught the Permisionarios bus to C. Camionera, and got the $10 trip back to Palomas, from where I walked home. Slept all that afternoon and most of the night, then went back to EP today...

Somewhere between Las Cruces and Deming, we went through an inspection station where we were questioned about being US citizens. They rudely woke me up; after I thought they were finished, up comes Mr. Righteous, a Mexican-American border patrol agent, with a suspicious-looking suitcase from the cargo hold... it looked a lot like a baritone sax, in fact. He called out for the owner of this terrorist-looking case to come forward, and a pretty young lady and her daughter came up. Drum roll while it was opened... the people on the side facing the action called out "shoes"! Wow, another terrorist plot nipped in the bud by our wonderful guardians of freedom.

Approaching Lordsburg the interstate was narrowed to two lanes by flooding; this desert had been turned to marshland by the rains over the past few weeks. An unprecedented amount of plant growth, at least for 8 years or more, has occurred in this part of the country due to the amount of rainfall.

In Lordsburg we stopped, as usual, at the McDonald's which serves as the Greyhound station. I decided to strike a blow for anarchy, and headed two blocks north to the liquor store and bought a pint of Foster's Bitter. After lights out I drank it all, and nobody complained to the driver. Not that I was blatant about it, but I fully expected someone would rat me out and I'd spend the night in jail. I'm pleasantly surprised that, despite the Gestapo-like searches and seizures, this country hasn't yet degenerated into a bunch of bleating sheep/shepherds as David Icke says.

I'm wondering if ostracism will be sufficient to keep people from becoming minions of the parasitic government. It will take near-total cooperation from freedom-loving people for it to work... we must not speak to, sell to, or buy from anyone who is employed as a policeman, border patrol agent, or any other government employee whose job involves limiting our freedom. I'm violating my own principles by dealing with the Gutierrez family's businesses (including the only bar in town) when R. claims to be involved in enforcing the law that residences must be at least 700 square feet in size. I hope he was joking or exaggerating... I'll have to talk with him about it before deciding what to do. For one thing, it will be the end of my supply of Guinness kegs, which is part of my dream of an oasis of freedom in the desert; what Larry, whom I met yesterday, calls the "Mystic Café": a place which a traveler will stumble upon the the middle of the dry, unforgiving desert sun where one finds food, beer, coffee, intelligent conversation, anarchical idealism, rational self-interest, love, sex, freedom... [comment]

2006-08-24-1740Z

Dreamt about the "little people" again last night. Two black women, each about a foot tall, naked but coated in mud except for part of their breasts, and their prominent nipples were sharply defined against their milk-chocolate skin. I was talking to a (normal-sized) black man about the phenomenon, something about how they would make good spies. He disagreed for some reason I can't remember. I was thinking how I'd feel about being around people six times my height.

There was another interesting dream last night too but I didn't write it down earlier while it was still fresh in my memory, so I'm afraid it's lost. I hung around City of the Sun for a while this morning, then walked about two miles towards Palomas before getting a ride. Sitting in the Chihuahuenses bus depot at Crucero Palomas (Entronque) waiting for the noon bus to Cd. Juarez. [comment]

2006-08-23-0511Z

Anastasia, the mesera, just brought me another pint of Foster's, just after I plopped a dollar into the jukebox to play Free Bird and Time (Pink Floyd). My songs haven't come up yet, but someone else is playing Us and Them from the same album. Cool. When I came in, someone was playing a few Rush cuts. I like this place. [comment]

2006-08-23-0440Z

Somehow I missed Erin's on the way back from Wal-Mart (where I failed to find a piece of luggage large enough to hold my Windskate), so ended up at Uncle Paulie's Pub. Guinness on tap! Had one pint of that, and am working on a Foster's now. Gonna be another long night in old El Paso... [comment]

2006-08-22-2240Z

Back at Kinley's House café in El Paso after a few hours of hell.

Went the usual way to El Paso; got a ride to the border, then bus to Entronque (Crucero Palomas), then to Cd. Juarez. Stopped at a Taquería and asked for one tripitas and one al pastó. How much? Cincuenta pesos. Ouch! Five bucks. In Tijuana that would have been two dollars. First bad omen.

Then crossed the border. Pigeon-brained bureaucratic bitch trashed $72 worth of my Palacios Chorizos from Spain. Yes, I knew it was a risk bringing it through Mexico. Doesn't make me any happier though.

Then I found the Greyhound station and went to pick up my ticket. I had my Windskate sail tied to my mountain skateboard. "You're not taking that on the bus, are you?" Oh, oh. "Sure, I am." Turns out it "doesn't look like luggage" so I have to spend another $45 Greyhound Express, plus pay them extra to box it for me if I don't box it myself. Cursing like a sailor, I walk back to the ticket counter and find out if my ticket is still good for another bus. Yes it is, and in case it isn't, it's only $10 to change it. Damn, the first good news all day it seems.

Anyway, it looks like I'll be camping out in El Paso till next payday (Saturday) and might get to Burning Man a day late if at all. [comment]

2006-08-19-2321Z

No luck limiting myself to 1 beer a day. Yesterday drank 3 and woke up with a headache. Just now working on a bottle of Guinness after drinking a Rolling Rock at the bar. Bad boy. Bad, bad boy.

Waiting for my friend and neighbor Mike to get back from El Paso; hopefully he was able to find some 6000-RS bearings for the Dukes dirtboard I won on eBay. It came with one missing washer, and maybe one missing bearing; it's possible I lost the bearing somewhere on my dirt floor when I was unpacking the thing. The seller, "Imagine This Sold" of Philadelphia, has not responded to my email in 3 days. Bummer. I really wanted to practice on this board before Burning Man. [comment]

2006-08-16-2240Z

After going to the bank on Monday for some cash, I got a ride to the border; ate lunch at the Pink Store; then decided to head to El Paso. Got my shopping done, and thought I'd hang around EP till morning, but around midnight or so decided to walk back across the border instead... a bad decision possibly due in part to the pint of Guinness I had at Hemingway's, which put me 12 ounces over my self-imposed limit.

Anyway, I ended up in a bar in Juarez where I drank at least another pint of nasty canned Tecate, with some dude nicknamed Quick who said he just wanted to protect me. Yeah, right. Then later at night, when I was nodding out in the park in front of the big cathedral, a group of 4 Federales basically robbed me at gunpoint under the guise of "protecting" me. At least, when I checked my wallet after they were done with me, I was missing somewhere between $20 and $40. Please, just let the crooks at me, at least they don't have automatic rifles!

Anyway, I made it back the next day, just in time for another tremendous rainstorm that flooded roads everywhere in its path. Crashed the rest of the afternoon and slept most of the night too.

Today I got my dirtboard by FedEx Ground, but it's missing a couple of parts. Damn. Guess I won't be able to take it to Burning Man after all... I can't even test it out here. [comment]

2006-08-13-2119Z

Just for my own reference; if anyone else can use this, great: to set read/write permissions on a directory and subdirectories in XP for all users, cacls . /t /e /p builtin\users:f. [comment]

2006-08-13-0323Z

This article not only has some good news of how our single-celled comrades are making the world safer from Bushco's biproducts, but the 2nd picture down looks strikingly similar to a Julia set. Check it out!

Are you a CoolEdit shareware user from 10 years ago? Adobe's bought that software for its Audition product, but now there's the totally free, open-source audio file editor Audacity. Very nice, if somewhat nonintuitive to me -- importing a second audio file didn't append nor prepend to the first, it mixed the two -- but maybe if I read a little documentation it can be very useful. And the Windows and Mac OSX versions are free, too, not just GNU/Linux!

I found out there's going to be a rideshare from downtown Reno to Burning Man. From the Greyhound, walk 2 blocks north to 4th St, then another mile and a half or so east to the Twin City Surplus store at 1675 East 4th. Wait there with your 10 gallons of water and other supplies, and when you see pickemups and SUVs loaded down with camping gear, disembodied geodesic domes, and lots and lots of wood, hit 'em up for a ride. If your tickets are will-call, have your confirmation number handy or the drivers are instructed not to offer you a ride.

Another route I'm considering is to continue another 2 miles on East 4th, turn north onto Pyramid Lake Highway, route 445, and windskate the 35 miles to Pyramid Lake. I can camp on Paiute land overnight after buying a $5 pass at the marina, then go about 20 miles east on 446 to Nixon where it meets highway 447. If I can't get a ride from there, it's 60 miles of nothing north to Gerlach; but if I can't get a ride on the main BM route, the whole spirit of the burn must have gone up in smoke.

I just got the standard padding, though, not extreme sports pads like this and this, so still not sure if I'll bother taking the sail with me. The playa looks ideal for it, though. [comment]

2006-08-10-2256Z

Compromised. This is the closest I found to a nontoxic natural sunscreen and it'll have to do for this time. Maybe by next year I can come up with something better.

I'm so happy to have my solar power back (the batteries never did come back to their previous strength -- they kept running down shortly after sundown each day -- that I replaced one of them at Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon) that, as you can see, I've been on the computer all day. [comment]

2006-08-10-2143Z

Found a recipe for homemade sunscreen at HealSoaz.org: "Obtain USP grade titanium oxide or zinc oxide (available from compounding pharmacies), almond oil (or other good oil) and beeswax. Use 1 cup oil to 1 oz beeswax and 1-2 Tablespoons zinc or titanium oxide. Heat the oil just enough to melt the wax (grate or chop it first), then add the titanium or zinc oxide." Looks simple and relatively nontoxic; if I can get the ingredients in time, I'll try it. I wanna be able to walk around nekkid at Burning Man! By the way, that website has lots of good tips, very anticonsumerism and smart! [comment]

2006-08-10-1921Z

Forgot to mention -- sometime in the last few days I finished Jack Trimpey's The Small Book, written to provide an alternative treatment for recovering from substance abuse. At least in the U.S., Alcoholics Anonymous and related groups have dominated the scene with their 12-step programs. In a supposedly secular country, it ought to be amazing that courts regularly sentence drunk drivers and drug abusers to such overtly religious treatments; Trimpey and his groups have been fighting this for over 20 years trying to get Rational Recovery (RR) equal standing with AA, hoping to provide something workable to the 90% (his figure) of people who can't, for whatever reason, be effectively treated by the AA's "Higher Power".

I recommend the book go into any anarchist's library, whether he is alcohol (drug) dependent or not, for a number of reasons, and I think Aristotle and Ayn Rand would approve. It uses reason -- rational self-interest, as Rand would say -- Trimpey says "enlightened" self-interest -- to combat the irrational "voice" within us that demands we take poison into our bodies. I'm using the method to limit myself to one beer a day -- which Trimpey doesn't recommend, by the way, insisting on complete abstention -- and on my third day it's a piece of cake. Then again, before that I was still suffering from last Saturday's overindulgence so maybe it's too early to tell. Anyway, Jack reached, by reason alone, some of the same conclusions Harry Browne provided in his now out-of-print How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, and Daniel Quinn reached by epiphany in Providence: a 50-Year Vision Quest. You have innate and undisputable self-worth, simply by virtue of being alive, and equal standing with any other creature on Earth (or Heaven, for those who believe in such) in that regard. You always have a choice whether to drink, to take drugs, to continue a relationship, to walk away from this sorry excuse for "civilization" -- and you don't need anyone else's say-so in anything. Self-evident? If it is to you, great, don't bother reading it. Unfortunately there's a huge percentage of humankind who would benefit from the words in this book. [comment]

2006-08-10-1451Z

About time I updated my photo... at the moment I'm rated 8.8 at HotOrNot, with 55 votes... wonder if posting it here will make it go up or down.

Mosquitoes! I've gotten bit about 5 times in the past few days. All this water gives them plenty of places to breed. West Nile virus hasn't been reported yet in New Mexico, though, and even if I get it there's an 80 percent chance I won't get any symptoms at all, if I can trust the CDC, and only one person in 150 gets seriously ill.

I had another cool flying dream the other morning: I guess I was a bird in that dream; I was flying downhill along the river to the bay, building up speed, then increased altitude and turned around back up the hill. When I reached some apartments I was flying sideways, actually almost backwards, and not high enough to clear the buildings, so I flapped my wings rapidly to clear one building... but then I saw out of the corner of my eye I was sure to hit the next building. I resigned myself to it, and felt no pain as the body was left on the brick wall by a door and my spirit continued sailing backwards for a second or two before I woke up. A young woman who was outside the apartment just before I hit had yelled "look out!" either at me or another person standing nearby. I'm not sure if I (the bird) died or just got knocked out.

I "won" a mountain skateboard (dirtboard) on eBay for less than $100 including shipping; I plan to use that to get from Reno to Burning Man, if I can't get a ride. I might even take my WindSkate sail and really make a scene. The Katadyn Base Camp filters I bought look as though they can hold significantly more that the rated 2.6 gallons. As long as they're not too strict at entry I should be able to get by with just those two bags full. I'm sure I can do better than survive on a gallon a day.

Yesterday I cut the power cord on my Dell laptop to see if I could hook up my flexible solar panel to it; I don't yet know if anybody at Burning Man will be providing electricity to charge it with, and anyway I should be "radically self-sufficient". I did something wrong, though; it's a 3-conductor cable, with the small center conductor being the sense line (I suppose), the next one out from the center being positive, and the outer wire of the coaxial being negative. Anyway I redid it this morning and my laptop is back in business; soon I'll check and see if the panel puts out enough voltage. The no-load DC put out by the power supply is 19.5 volts, about the same as a typical 12V PV panel. So it might work.

I'd been looking for months for a retractable keychain. Got a few hits from Google but only from places that customize cheap retractables with your company logo. Then yesterday at Wal-Mart in Deming, while I was waiting for them to test my battery before they'd replace it, I saw one. It was called a "Key Retriever", duh. About $3-something. I've got my keys and lighter on it now, very convenient. [comment]

2006-08-07-0008Z

Amazingly, my batteries came back from below 3 volts back to 12! The City of the Sun Unternet is still alive and kicking, even though one member lost over $1000 in electronics due to a surge through the phone line.

No rain yet today, but it's clouding up; might get some tonight. There's hope that the beans and alfalfa I planted will survive, and my umpteenth attempt at growing iceplant (Delosperma) here might succeed also.

I'm pretty well equipped for Burning Man, but am placing a bid on a mountain board on eBay in case I can't get a ride from Reno. I might also be able to use it locally for windskating. [comment]

2006-08-05-2005Z

I'm once again playing with making websites that authenticate based on Thawte freemail certs. First, after getting my cert loaded into Firefox, under Tools - Advanced - View Certificates, I backed it up. Then using openssl, I converted it to a PEM-format file:

$ openssl pkcs12 -in jcomeau.p12 -out jcomeau_chain.pem

Then I edited the file, got rid of the private key at the top, leaving only the two Thawte certs, and renamed it thawte_chain.pem. I copied it to the server. Here is the relevant part of Unternet.net's config:

SSLEngine On SSLCertificateFile /home/jcomeau/unternet.crt SSLCertificateKeyFile /home/jcomeau/unternet.key SSLVerifyClient require SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +StdEnvVars +CompatEnvVars SSLCACertificateFile /home/jcomeau/thawte_chain.pem SSLVerifyDepth 2

And here are the SSI directives that generate the headline:

<H1>Welcome to the UnterNet,
<!--#if expr="${SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_CN} = /.+/" -->
<!--#echo var="SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_CN" -->
<!--#elif expr="${SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_EMAIL} = /.+/" -->
<!--#echo var="SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_EMAIL" -->
<!--#else --> my friend<!--#endif -->!</H1>

I've still got more work to do if I want it to actually encrypt traffic, namely, set up the user database and add the necessary directives to the configuration. I'd like to convince lots of people to set up their servers this way, so I wouldn't have to remember so many different passwords... I could just use my cert to authenticate. If I wanted to use this method from a public computer I heard you can install Firefox on a memory stick. I'd have to investigate that some more.

If you have a Thawte freemail cert installed in your browser, you can test it at https://www.unternet.net/. If the cert has been notarized by the Thawte Web of Trust, you should see your full name in the Welcome line. If it's just a non-notarized cert, you should see your email address. If the cert isn't recognized, you'll either get an authentication error or see "my friend" rather than any unique identifier. [comment]

2006-08-05-1800Z

Amazing weather here in SW New Mexico the past few days. On the 3rd, about the only thing I did all day was to lay that 400-lb. barrel of water on its side and roll it back to my place. That was so exhausting I did nothing for hours afterwards. Yesterday, the 4th, we had so much rain, so fast, that the big arroyo was overflowing its banks -- I'm talking a real river here, something that's dry 99% or more of the year -- and even the little arroyo past my place was flowing enough for me to save about 40 gallons. Plus, the drum I'd sunk out back filled up with runoff from the roof, so I have close to 150 gallons total saved up. If I were to build a solar still now, I could have drinking water for 5 months. More likely I'll just use it for watering plants this time; we're still hopefully a few years away from when I'll have to worry about finding drinking water.

My dreams last night had some recurring elements: apartments on the west side of the dream city, and a seafood restaurant near the coast, on the east side. I was going to ride my bike to the seafood restaurant, which has some erotic appeal to me -- maybe topless waitresses? can't remember -- but I didn't have a lock for my bike... then I realized I was out of money... both circumstances which were true in real life at that time (I've since been paid!). [comment]

2006-08-02-0204Z

When I got back from the Pink Store today (got rides both ways! cool!) the arroyo was still running from the most recent rain -- we've gotten more rain here in the last few days than, probably, the whole year previously -- so I went and got one of my 55-gallon drums and damn near filled it with the muddy but perfectly usable water. Maybe tomorrow I'll figure out how to schlep the 400 pounds back to my place. [comment]

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