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.

This RSS feed may or may not work. Haven't fiddled with it in forever. RSS Feed

MrCreditRepair.biz will fix your credit rating!

2011-05-26-0300Z

No wonder my beer was coming out flat. Got to bottle condition at room temp. Duh... only took me 3 bad batches before I decided to look it up. Going on memory isn't always the best way.

Anyway, this batch is coming out just fine. [comment]

2011-05-26-0018Z

A keeper from Medicinemaker:

"...There is a body of knowledge that is not generally known -- knowledge that is shared among the mystics of our people. This collective wisdom is not written, but is passed down in the oral tradition from generation to generation, in keeping with our clear understanding that the shape of truth changes as it travels through time.

"When spiritual teachings and revelations are compiled into books, the resulting sacred texts tend to bind the mind rather than open it. The different sects of our own formalized priesthood provide us with constant evidence of this, each lineage bickering with the others about which is the possessor of real truth."

[comment]

2011-05-25-0306Z

Being suck sicks. Heading into my 72nd hour and still getting worse. Haven't started coughing yet but it's almost inevitable.

Over the last 10 days or so, I've read Three Cups of Tea, the book by the now-controversial Greg Mortenson, and Medicinemaker by Hank Wesselman. The former book rings true, whether or not everything in it is factually accurate. The latter book does not; there's something too perfect about the people and the interactions between them. If it someday turns out that Wesselman made the whole story up to cure his financial woes, mentioned in the book, it won't surprise me at all.

It always gets me how people and governments are always lamenting the use of motor vehicles for every little errand, yet gear everything towards making everything safer and more convenient for those who use them. For example, the "walk lights" at intersections; most times, if you're one second too late to the intersection when the lights change, the walk light will not come on for you until you wait through another whole cycle. This can take minutes, even in a small city like Petaluma. There are exceptions, like the crossing at Plaza North in front of the Starbucks. You can get it to change just about any time up till it's about to give the green light to the other direction. Why don't they all work this way? I'll be happy when on the first push of the button, the light for oncoming traffic turns yellow. That will be telling pedestrians that you laud and encourage their mode of transportation, and will reward it. Right now, that's the message that car drivers receive, day in and day out. This has to change. [comment]

2011-05-22-1640Z

Got home from a friend's retirement party yesterday evening, and started feeling quite ill; my throat was raw, and I was producing phlegm so rapidly I had to breathe through my mouth. I was burping that small piece of cake I'd eaten, for hours. Was it that swim in the river yesterday, testing my wetsuit? I'd scored the suit at Saks for $15, and was anxious to try it out. But that Petaluma river water is pretty nasty. [comment]

2011-05-19-1955Z

Got my console back thanks to the tech gurus at Tektonic. I was working on the problems caused by my botched upgrade, and managed to lock up the console running sshd -D; ^C and ^Z did nothing. Just hitting keys, I found that ^O followed by another key brought up the message: SysRq : HELP : loglevel0-8 reBoot Crashdump tErm Full kIll saK showMem Nice powerOff showPc unRaw Sync showTasks Unmount. So I did ^OI (control-O followed by I) and it killed all tasks and brought me back to the login prompt. Awesome. Never seen that before. To me, ^O always meant to drop output. [comment]

2011-05-18-0856Z

Borked both my servers during my full-moon upgrades tonight. I was able to salvage one using:

# apt-get install libc6/stable libc6-dev/stable nscd/stable libc-dev-bin/stable libc-bin/stable locales/stable

But the other one spontaneously rebooted and is down for the count.

Funny I googled for "revert apt-get upgrade" and found many instances of the question but no answer. But the manpage had the solution above. [comment]

2011-05-17-2101Z

Finally got Firefox back! Iceweasel, that is. It's been going crazy for a few weeks now, truncating menus, smudging text and graphics, missing the lower 200 pixels or so of the screen, other weird shit. I couldn't find anybody else having the same problems when I searched. Anyway I apt-get dist-upgraded, fixed some problems in my /etc/apt/sources.list (I still had some entries with "lenny" instead of "stable"!) and installed Iceweasel 4.0.1 from squeeze-backports. It didn't help at first, but today I was able to get the ProfileManager by specifying iceweasel -ProfileManager -no-remote; for the first time in weeks, the Profile Manager was actually visible! It disabled the Firebug and Validator plugins (the source of the problem?) and started up normally. About goddamned time. What a productivity killer. [comment]

2011-05-17-1101Z

Added the CorreCaminos Deming-Columbus route to OpenStreetMap using the online Flash editor Potlatch2 and the info found in the forum. I've been trying to find a way to verify what I entered, and when OpenStreetBrowser failed me I followed the Wiki link in the forum discussion, and found the "?relation=" trick. But that wouldn't work to show more than 1 bus route; I'll have to figure out a better way. [comment]

2011-05-14-0611Z

Made a new batch, 7 bottles, of rice beer with 1/2 tsp sugar in each bottle this time. This had goddamned well better carbonate. [comment]

2011-05-14-0237Z

Trying some rice-caraway beer that I bottled on the 2nd. No bubbles at all. But tastes OK.

Just back from the mountains, or rather foothills. Got some work to catch up on. [comment]

2011-05-10-2105Z

I wonder if the native Americans of northern California somehow got immunity to poison oak by eating deer which ate the toxic plant. It is almost certain they were immune, since they made and used baskets of the stuff. [comment]

2011-05-10-1754Z

Poison oak sprouting all over the place up here in the mountains. Even on the dirt roads, you have to watch your step. Manzanita berries are already out. Picked and ate an unripe one. Tastes very much like a green apple. [comment]

2011-05-04-2218Z

My bike got stolen the other day, along with the brand-new Dromedary bag that was in the knapsack on the back. Goddamned motherfucking thieves. [comment]

2011-05-02-0350Z

Made one bottle of my rice-caraway beer in a twist-top bottle of Foster's that I just consumed. I plan to bottle-condition it for a week or so before consuming it. [comment]

2011-05-01-0044Z

Tried lotecnotectu in the river today; found out it works best with me on my back, back-stroking. The wool on top and the water-resistant pants are good enough to keep me warm except for my hands; but I'll need my Gore-tex oversocks and a tight belt to keep water from getting inside the pants. And some swim fins would come in handy as well. [comment]

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