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

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Drying out about 1/4 pound of grass-fed ground beef to make jerky, and clarifying suet from the same Humboldt grass-fed cows. Going to try making some pemmican. [comment]


I've been studying d3 for a job I'm doing, and tutorial after tutorial shows how to use .enter() to add elements, and .exit().remove() to remove elements. But when it comes to updating, it's either just a handwave implying there's a .update() property (there isn't), or they use .transition() for an animated change. If you're adding and removing some things, but setting all the old elements and all new elements with the same data-driven attributes, I didn't find any good examples out there. This is it:

var chart = d3.select("svg").selectAll("rect").data(data);
chart.enter().append("rect");  // creates empty rects where needed
chart  // this is it, where we set attributes for all old and new rects
 .attr("x", function(d) {return d.xproperty;})
 .attr("y", function(d) {return d.yproperty;})
 .attr("width", function(d) {return d.widthproperty;})
 .attr("height", function(d) {return d.heightproperty;});
chart.exit().remove();  // get rid of any leftovers from longer data
Of course, xproperty et. al. are the properties in your data; I'm using things like timestamps and voltage, but you could be using just about anything.

The main difference between this and what I saw in the tutorials is that the .attr() calls are not chained to .enter(), which would only apply to the brand-new rects. Those left over from the previous run, with different data, would remain with their old data. And it would be silly to duplicate the same block of code for updating old elements as for creating new ones.



Chia seeds finally sprouted, actually leafed out overnight. But the rice that sprouted a few days ago already started to mold, there are some spots of red and it tasted bitter. It took about a week for the chia. [comment]


Bittering a 1/2 gallon batch with redwood tips. This ought to be interesting. [comment]


Tested my on-land "fishtailing" propulsion method today, and it seems to work. The idea is you point your front wheel at about 45 degrees, then swing the arm with the wheel back and forth, turning the wheel at the end of each swing. I can explain better later, maybe draw a picture. This could be lotecnotec's solution for acing next year's race! [comment]


I had just been sworn in and was taking over the Oval Office; and was trying to explain to a younger man there what a change was taking place, a quiet revolution, but he wasn't following. I was just warming up to talk about the Whiskey Rebellion, one of the first examples of "austerity for the poor, not for the rich" in this country, but I woke up. [comment]


I got brown rice to sprout! It took maybe 3 or 4 days, rinsing once per day after the first overnight soak. And all this time I believed only unhulled rice would sprout.

Now to see if the chia also sprouts. I have it mixed in with the rice so the mucilage helps hold in the moisture; supposedly it takes up to a week to sprout. [comment]


I understand the richest of the rich are all set to move into their pre-built underground "Iron Mountain" cities as anthropogenic climate change coupled with the inevitable geological catastrophes brought on by things like fracking and aging nuclear power facilities wreak havoc upon the earth at large, particularly the coastlines where most people live.

What I don't get is why are their children cooperating? Why aren't the 0.1%'s offspring raising holy hell at the prospect of living underground, eating dead, stored food for the next 4 or more generations while 500mph winds, radiation, biblical-caliber floods and temperature extremes wipe out everybody and most of everything else? They should be more aware than anyone else of the consequences of their parents' actions. It makes no sense to me whatsoever. [comment]


That plant that's growing along the dock at the turning basin is very likely Atriplex Triangularis, common name Spearscale or fat-hen. The leaf at least is identical; but in photos of Triangularis I don't see the round yellow flower I noticed on the plants downtown. The field guide is here: http://www.spartina.org/project_documents/field_guide_tide_plants_low-res_200703.pdf (PDF file). It's edible; the author recommends it be cooked as a potherb without salt (as it already is salty). [comment]


Dunno about you, but growing up I used to think the Russkis and Cubans must be either cowards or brainwashed zombies, succumbing to totalitarianism the way they did. "Americans wouldn't tolerate that" I believed. Now I understand: when it happens to "us", "we" rationalize it... "It's not really that bad", "It will get better soon", "You can't fight City Hall". When you start to see your own government as fascist, people jump on you, "Oh no, you're blowing things way out of proportion, Obama's nothing like Hitler or Mussolini". So you shut up and suffer it, not wanting to rock the boat. Just like the Russians did, until finally a generation arose who would tolerate it no more.



In my pre-awakening dream, I was living in a world in which CALL and LOOP statements in computer programs were considered signs of intrusion, so businesses had monitors, in the form of about a 1'x3' rectangular LCD display above their front door that alerted whenever either a subroutine was called or a loop was in progress. Accordingly, all "legitimate" programmers inlined their subroutines or did some other trick to avoid these two instructions. I was having a beer in a pub when one of the alarms went off across the street, and swarms of programmers were rushing over to help. I tried explaining to a guy walking in that I avoided the problem by using two PUSHs and a RET to avoid a CALL but he was studiously ignoring me. [comment]


The Petaluma Creamery is a great place to get some work done. Tables are free most of the time, power and restroom available, coffee is $1 and fresh pizza is $2.50 a slice. Wifi is an open belkin54g from somewhere nearby. [comment]


Rebuilt the Travoy today, only needed to change out one set of bearings. The other just needed some persuasion with the vice-grips before it started moving freely again. I've got the bearings and a foam tire for the Razor on order. I'd like to be able to test my hypothesis of a fishtailing drive wheel but I need to make something that keeps the wheel inline with springs, allowing torque to twist it. [comment]


Felt well enough, between the healing feet and the receding cold, to go jogging again today. Lots of paid work to do, and this might help clear my mind. Having a celebratory cuppa at Starbucks, then back up the hill and back at the keyboard. [comment]


Property (i.e. "land") ownership is a myth, national boundaries are a myth: shared hallucinations if you will. I'm not saying they're not useful myths, or that they should necessarily be done away with. But they aren't real without the cooperation of all parties, and if too many people stop believing in these myths, and come up with other ideas they like better, things could be very difficult for the remaining believers. [comment]


Last night's dream took place in a post-apocalyptic world in which San Francisco had been nuked to the ground. A big, muscular, rich guy was assuring me that my girlfriend was going to dump me to be with him. I don't remember much else about it. [comment]


My cold was so horrible two nights ago: coughing, sneezing, clogged sinuses -- and so much better yesterday -- that I thought I'd be pretty much cured by this morning. Not so. I'm still coughing, sneezing, and generating mucus. But curiously, I don't have a caffeine withdrawal headache yet, after not having any coffee since Tuesday morning. [comment]

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